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pre-2011 museum resources

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Clay Dube
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pre-2011 museum resources

This section of the forum is for us to share information about museum exhibitions or programs pertaining to Asia and of use to educators. Please feel free to contribute announcements or reviews of exhibitions.

Teachers in Southern California may appreciate the section of the US-China Institute's calendar devoted to exhibitions. You can see it at:
http://china.usc.edu/calendar.aspx

Please feel free to post photos of your museum, gallery, and garden wanderings. We'd especially love to see photos of your students exploring these places. [Edit by="Clay Dube on Feb 24, 11:39:27 AM"][/Edit]

Clay Dube
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Topic Posts: 535
Message from Clay Dube

The current Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition focuses on China's links with its neighbors during the so-called era of division and the Sui and early Tang dynasties. It's an extraordinary exhibition, drawing heavily on recently unearthed items from relatively small Chinese institutions. The website devoted to the exhibition is quite good and teachers will find many images and descriptions they can use with their students. I visited the exhibition on 12/4/04 and purchased the catalog (educators get 10% off). The catalog includes far more images than provided by the website. The Starr Foundation funded the exhibition and the Freeman Foundation funded educational programs associated with it.

http://www.metmuseum.org/special/China/index.asp

One of the points the exhibition hints at, but isn't as sharply demonstrated as clearly as it might be is the changing depiction of the Buddha and bodhisattvas. It would be possible, for example, to put Greek-influenced sculptures beside those of later periods and increasingly Eastern locations. Still, the influence of nomads and civilizations to the West is clear. For example, take a look at the sarcophagus of Yu Hong: http://www.metmuseum.org/special/China/s5_obj_1.R.asp. Use the zoom feature to bring out the details.

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A Summation and Discussion


Being entirely unfamiliar with Chinese and Japanese gardens, beyond the small text Fung Suai For Your Garden that I purchased while visiting Kew Gardens outside London, I entered the Activity and Repose: Place, Memory and Sociality in Chinese and Japanese Gardens symposium at the Huntington expecting to learn what made a Chinese garden Chinese and a Japanese garden Japanese. I’m not sure I drove away having exactly ascertained that knowledge. In fact, I’m not sure I can logically articulate any of what I heard that day, for what I discovered within the first few moments of my attendance was that I was in a room of acclaimed scholars whose understandings of any and all topics linked to Japan, China and royal gardens far surpassed my own. I was lucky to understand seventy percent of the vocabulary of any paper read, and because I was forced to focus the majority of my comprehension efforts on deciphering what exactly was being discussed, let alone said (few of the scholars presenting were skilled in public speaking), I lost much of the content. However, in spite of these somewhat awkward and unfortunate circumstances, I will attempt to explain what I witnessed, and hopefully learned.

Designed and created by gardeners who apprenticed with a company for ten years before starting out on their own, or a few rare gardeners who set out unschooled in gardening, as was Kiomori whose ability to break the traditional mold of gardening came from years of studying painting, Chinese and Japanese gardens served as empirical retreats and recreation spaces (Tschumi). Commissioned by the emperor and utilized by highly ranked officials, members of court and their servants, Chinese and Japanese gardens began as city centers and expanded to the suburbs (Batchelor). The Chinese and Japanese garden imitated the emperor and his reign, acting as a royal portrait of his wealth, scholarship, and power. To an extent, emperors acted as curators, educating their people through their collections. These collections supplied much of the fuel for the intense competition that resided among gardens. The comparisons of these collections focused on how exquisite, various, and complete they were (the Chinese were notorious for cataloguing everything). The first emperor of the Summer Palace created replicas of all past palaces, which he placed within the palace gardens and used to house his great collections. This, according to Haun Saussy of Stanford University in his paper titled, “Gardens and Collections: The Installation Art of Kings”, symbolizes the Emperor’s power over all who ruled before.

While I assume emperors were not the only owners of gardens, theirs most certainly surpassed all others considering the immense power and wealth available to create them. These gardens held insatiable views, a large variety of exotic species and creatures, and covered vast amounts of land. While each garden strove toward exquisite perfection, the ultimate arena for competition lay not in what each garden offered, but in how long its owner could reside there. Most gardens had and continue to have absentee owners, as one scholar discusses in his paper, “Remembering Li Deyu Remembering His Pingquan Garden”. Li Deyu addresses this directly in his poem “A companion piece to Duke Minister Li’s poem ‘Written impromptu on my way back to Pingguan as I passed the Southern peak of Longman and saw my mountain villa in the distance,” stating, “You will have only a moment of leisure here.”

Of all the things I heard that day, I was struck most by that last quote. So much time and energy is put into the creation of a garden so fantastic that it puts all others to shame, and then no one really has the opportunity to enjoy it. Now I am sure there were some who upon caretaking spent much time there, but what a waste of such a marvel to leave it isolated from the common people, reserved for the entirely too wealthy, and ultimately, empty.

Much of this information on Chinese and Japanese gardens can serve as a point of comparison to non-Asian “exotic” places kept only for the wealthy and powerful. For an American example, Camp David might be the equivalent to the emperor’s garden villa. While the garden villa would certainly win the competition for most exquisite and exotic, I bet G.W. would take the cake for most time spent on “vacation.” There are many more possibilities for drawing comparisons, thus allowing students the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of Chinese and Japanese gardens through something familiar.

As well, the Huntington Gardens are open for fieldtrips and do have both a Chinese and Japanese garden with tea house. This might be an interesting afternoon spent walking, discussing, and writing.

Here is a list of materials referenced by speakers during the symposium that might be of interest for use in the classroom:

Thirty-Six Views of Summer Residence in Poems and Paintings
“Rhapsody in Red Cliff”
Hackney’s A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China (film)

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Message from mmoody

Daimyo Gardens: Edo-period Wonderlands

The Tokugawa Art Museum recently held a special exhibition on Daimyo gardens. The following information was all that was available on their website:

The Edo-period daimyo created vast gardens inside their provincial castle grounds and at their residences in the capital city of Edo. Many of these daimyo gardens were designed for strolling: they had rolling land representing mountains, valleys and plains surrounding a large pond representing the sea at the center. Such vast gardens were used for entertaining visits from the shogun (onari), for greeting other daimyo, and for conducting ceremonies. The daimyo took great pains to make all possible improvements and add small inventive touches so as to increase the attractions. In the eyes of the commoners, the results were a veritable wonderland.

http://www.cjn.or.jp/tokugawa/english/special/images/pic05.jpg

According to the last sentence in this blurb I am to assume that commoners were allowed into the gardens of daimyo. Such was not the case of emperial gardens as I mention in my previous post. The Tokugawa Art Museum preserves the extensive holdings of the Owari branch of the Tokugawa family. The Owari's, based at their castle seat here in Nagoya, maintained the closest family and political ties to the ruling shoguns throughout the Edo period (1603-1868). No other feudal lords, or daimyo, surpassed the Owari holdings and their concern for the history of the clan. The family legacy encompasses art and a vast array of heirloom objects and furnishings intended for the lord and his household. Thus, the museum's collections would have been housed in the daimyo garden similarly to the collections of the emperial gardens. These collections, however, we can imagine were open to the public.

While looking for a review of this exhibit, I came across this page which outlines the construction project for joining the Tokugawa Museum with the Hosa Library by creating a garden in fitting with the area's history: This area was once the 'Ozone Shitayashiki,' a retreat of Feudal Lord Mitsutomo, second generation Lord of the Owari Clan. Based on this fact, and using literature and materials about the gardens of Nagoya Castle and the gardens of the Owari Tokugawa Clan's Edo residence as reference, develop the gardens to offer visitors a taste of samurai culture in the Edo period.

It is interesting to look at how the planners attempt to preserve the historical roots of the area, the buildings and their holdings and simultaneously incorporate the needs of the surrounding community. A good lesson in city planning ...

http://www.city.nagoya.jp/english/tokugawa/t_keikaku.htm#1

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Message from pdobkin

Teachers could use these images for literacy content having
students write on what the people in the photgraphs are
thinking.After visiting Cambodia last summer, I was very interested in seeing the
photographs of by photgrapher, Michael Burr at Mani's Bakery in Santa
Monica. Never having been to this place, I more or less, expected a
upscale eatery with a gallery room where the photos would be displayed.
I was surprised to see the bakery appeared, very much, like most of
the storefronts in the same mode as the city of Venice. whereMani's
is really situated.I walked through the fast food order area and reached
a gift shop. In the gift shop is where the framed photos on the wall,
about 25 in all. I knew nothing previously of Michael Burr's work and found
just a little bit of information about him.
He had been invited to Cambodia by two friends after traveling in
Vietnam for three weeks. He spent a total of eight days in Cambodia.
His goal was to capture this remarkable country through experiencing
it's sights, and smells. He stated," The tourist sees what he comes to
see; the traveler sees what there is to see." Mr. Burr has always felt
he is traveler as opposed to a tourist and tries his best to record his
own unique vision. He did his best to maximize the opportunites he
in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat is truly one of the phenomenoms of the world. I was
amazed when I viewed the temples and found that much of the writing
that was enscribed in the temples. some built as early as 950 B.C. and
still readable today. Of course one must know how to read Sanskrit.
The artist felt, as I do, that even with the most wondrous grandeur
of it's monuments, the country is more definied by it's people. With
this in mind I found his images to be incredibly real, showing the many
faces of the people. All photoswere created with a Canon Power
hot G 5 Camera and using two supplementary lenses
(wide angle and telephoto). The resolution files werecreated
in Photoshop 7.0. The prints are displayed on a Fuji Crystal
Archive paper using a Fuji Frontier Printer. This paper has a projected
longevity of 50 years, under Normal conditions.
I was excited to see that some of the images Michael Burr chose to display
were the exact images I had taken, last summer. Although, I must admit,
his pictures were much better than mine. The were much clearer, the
images sharper, the color more vibrant and more true to what you
actually saw. These pictures reawakened memories that reminded me
of the natural beauty that abounds in this country. I saw the
expressions of Monks who lit incense witha prayer for my happiness.
I saw the faces of children that haunted me long after I had
left the country. I remember the vendors on bicycles that carried their
whole store ona plastic box in the.There were scenes of the unabashed beauty of Angkor Wat. The trip down the river, around Siem Reap defined the adage that when
you visit a country you experience what there is. This was definitely
a most profound experience. The photographer, Michael Burr, has
delivered an arrray of itimate visions that offer insights into Cambodian
life in a most inspirational way. If you have the chance go see it at Mani's
Bakery, 2507 Main Street, Santa Monica- through January 3rd.
Thanks

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Message from pdobkin

Assemblage, Collage &; Sculpture @ Norton Simon
Posted: 12-22-2004 01:51 PM
Today I visited the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. This museum is one of my most favorite because there is no question in my mind, but it has the best collection in Southern California.I went downstairs and viewed the Assemblage, Collage and Sculpture show. This exhibit displays how artists take a variety of objects and materials and reconstruct them into works of art. These works are mostly assembled rather than painted or drawn. The exhibit spans a period of 80 years. Many of the materials are very mundane but when assembled become fascinating because of the unigque way they are brought together. This show brings in great masters from all over the world and is all part of their permanent collection. It lends itself to a plethora of classroom activities by students bringing in objects, picking a meaningful theme and putting it all together in a way that is relevant to the artist.
This show lends itself easily to Standard 1.2 in the Artistic Perception category:
1.2 Discuss works of art as to theme, genre, style, idea and differences in media......
In the Aesthetic Valuing category
4.2 Identify and describe ways in their culture is being reflected in current works of art.....
4.3 Construct and interpretation of a work of art based on the form and content of the work..
In Visual Literacy category
5.4 Describe tactics employed in advertising to sway the viewer's thinking and provide examples......It is an unusally wonderful exhibit and will be on display untilMarch 28th-
Norton Simon Museum 411 West Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Thanks

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Message from tnguyen

I visited the Huntington Library about two months ago and was amazed show many different gardens it has. I first knew about the museum through a picture my sister had taken two years ago on a summer school trip. I loved the scenery in that picture and asked some questions about it. All she could say was how nice it was and that if i wanted to see the how breathe-taking it was, the i would need to visit it myself. I really wanted to go but never had the chance to go until I had to make up a class I missed by visiting the museum and listening to the lecture.

When i tried to look it up, i thought the Huntington Library was in Huntington Beach :} HOw embarrassing. But i was really glad i had the chance to go.

Clay Dube
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Message from Clay Dube

Here's a report Thuy-doan Nguyen composed regarding her visit:

January 28, 2005

The Getty and the Huntington Museum Conference on Chinese Gardens


Unbelievable! I took away so many insights on gardens and arts that day that I wanted to create my own art garden at home or should I say when I own a home. It’s incredible! The presentation included numerous presenters with so many different yet wise ideas. I’ve seen some of the artwork that was presented during the PowerPoint presentation of Philip Hu “Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion: From Poetry and Calligraphy to a Landscape of Cultural Memory” and the handouts of Steven Carter “Tonna’s Trees: The Poetics of Garden Space in Medieval Japan”, but never did I thought of how old or how artistic these things were until I attended this conference. After attending this conference, I really felt the need to be exposed more to these things. I love art, flowers, and nature that they all came together in this conference. During the lunch break, which was absolutely not enough time, walked around the rose garden, the lotus lake, and the Japanese garden I was astonished by the beauty and the art. I feel at home, at peace, at harmony, and a sense of total balance between the mind, the spirit, and the body. I’m not really happy that I had to miss class and attend this conference for make up. However, as a result of missing a class, I was able to take away something so valuable and something that I’ve always dreamt about.

The most enjoyable presentation that day was on the winding cup of ancient China to present day architecture. It was amazing how so many different architectural recreation of this artwork were and are priced by the visitors around the world near the hotels, restaurants, recreation centers, and even museums. I just wish I could visit one of those sights in my lifetime.

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Message from ddandridge

A pretty nifty local Asian museum is the Asia Pacific Museum in Pasadena. It is a small museum, but they have a nice collection of a wide variety of East Asian art. They also tend to have nice special exhibitions. The people at the museum are very friendly and condusive to special requests.

They also hold educators programs, however these tend to be inconsistant. Many get cancelled or changed, so if you are interested about one of their educational programs, make sure to call and speak to someone about it before you make any plans and then make sure to call again a day or so before the event to confirm that it is still happening.

David Dandridge

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Message from jluesse

An architect friend and I recently went to The Norton Simon to see An Assortment of Beauties: Japanese Woodblock Prints Collected by Frank Lloyd Wright
July 29, 2005 - January 9, 2006
It was a bit of a let down for there seemed to be less than ten prints of the hundreds collected by Wright that the museum holds. There were, on the other hand, a few excellent books in the gift shop that I couldn't afford. There are some lectures and classes offered by the museum regarding the prints-you can check it out at the museum's website (nortonsimon.org). Though my friend and I felt the exhibit was limited, the prints remained a treat to look at closely.

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Message from bklank

Toshiko Takaezu: The Art of Clay exhibition at the Japanese American Museum (Near MOCA temporary contemporary in downtown LA).

Going to the Japanese American Museum was like stepping back in time, including information and historical relics from the WW2 camps. Toshiko Takaezu: The Art of Clay exhibition was what I went to see, though. Her large, rounded, abstract forms are thrown on the wheel and then altered slightly. The forms themselves are simple, but the glazes (which vary) make them stunning!

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Message from cwangila

The educational travel services inc. is presenting a course designed to improve teachers understanding of many ethnic cultures including the asian culture in Los Angeles.
The class consists of lectures, films, and visits to various sites and cultural events. The visit includes a visit to Thai temple, the Bowers museum. For more information visit their website at : www.etsbustours.com

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Message from rterry

Last weekend a few of us from the Torrance group attended the lecture by Princeton curator of Asian Art, Cary Liu, at UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. It is hard to know into which "thread" this belongs, but a short discussion is perhaps okay in this museum section.

The lecture was titled "Recarving China's Past". The focus was on particular tombs/shrines found in north, central China. Slides were shown, both from the initial discovery and from a few weeks ago which showed the archelohical site sompletely submerged under water. This image really struck me -- how can such historical treasures be so neglected? Trying to piece together a culture's history is guesswork (of course based on some evidence) yet as Cary Liu suggested in his lecture, established beliefs do change. His findings are challenging the conclusions on the Wu family shrines which scholars have interpreted and even created a 3D computer mock of what it looked like. The stones are housed in buildings near the site and the slides shown were the first public viewing of these artifacts.

In Liu's reflection on his research at the site he said that it is like falling leaves ... as you begin to gather them, more appear. In this case he is refering to characters carved on the stones. Rubbings were made which caused the stones to keep disintergrating (the rubbing process is very hard on the stone). It appears as if characters appear later ... he suggests that perhaps characters were added by scholars ... He remarked that "scholars think they are sages and entitled to change the text". An interesting concept to introduce to our students to open their minds to the concept of history being an evolving and altering set of "facts" and to always be open to discovering new ideas.

Rubbings are "art frozen in time" since the stones keep disintergrating. The value of using such artifacts to teach the concept of history eroding as we live is worthwhile to explore further with students. No two rubbings are the same ... the person making the rubbing will emphasize a different part of the artifact, not even intentionally, but naturally this is the case. Again, a good concept to illustrate to students the interpretative aspect of "recording" history.

This was a worthwhile afternoon spent at UCLA. Thanks Clay for the invite!

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Message from scampbell

I also enjoyed attending this seminar. The speaker and visuals shed light on possible inaccuracies
in long accepted Chinese "history". I would be interested in finding out if any of the researchers on this project have any ideas on who has had a hand in "re-writing" history and if it was done to purposely mislead later generations and/or strengthen the family's claims?

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Message from kokoro

I don't know if any of you checked my previous post, but for the History teachers, there is a wonderful site of archaeological information in regards to East Asia that might prove interesting. Especially the areas that concern fraud!!!

http://www.ancienteastasia.org/home.htm

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Message from mhogan

In December, I had the opportunity to attend an introductory Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) seminar. MBSR was started in Mass. by a medical doctor and practicing Buddhist, Jon Kabat-Zinn. He proposed that meditation and mindfulness training would assist those suffering from disease. At first, he was not taken too seriously, so he asked for only the worst suffering patients. When he showed improvement in those, some in the medical community started to take notice. He has since gone on to co-establish institutes and a specific program - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. His program has been peer-reviewed on many occasions.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an 8-week program in which the practitioners are taught meditation in different forms. They are taught sitting meditation, yoga, walking meditation, eating meditation, etc. They are also taught how to do body scans in order to become more in touch with their bodies. They are taught how to connect with themselves and their bodies in acceptance so as to reduce their levels of stress. This has been shown to improve health and overall well-being.

Although the program teaches meditation through the Vipassna Buddhist tradition, the program itself is not religious. It uses meditation is a technique and not a religious ritual. It is interesting to see Buddhist practice enter into Western consciousness as such a "new" concept. Time magazine in 2003 had a couple of different covers on the link between meditation and health. It will be interesting to see where this influence goes.

For anyone interested in taking the 8-week MBSR class, it starts on Jan. 8 through Insight LA (insightla.org). I already have committments on Monday nights, but it should be interesting and fruitful for those who can find the time.

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Message from mhogan

Visits to the Buddhist temple, traditional music, koto performances, karate demonstrations, mochi pounding. . . these are just some of the components of the New Year's celebration in Little Tokyo. For the second time, my family and I experienced this celebration. This year, the festivities were not attended as well due to inclimate weather, however, there was still a strong Japanese-American flair.

New Year's in Little Tokyo is a celebration of Japanese culture. There are exhibitions of varying Japanese customs and traditions. Multiple styles of marial arts are present, as are musical and cultural performances. There are ikebana (flower arranging), kite making, and origami, among others. Of course, my favorite part is mochi making. This is an important New Year's tradition amongst Japanese. Mochi is pounded sweet rice. Although in modern times, one can make instant mochi or machine-made mochi, there is nothing like traditionally pounded mochi for New Years. The rice mixture is pounded with a huge mallet, as onlookers give cries of encouragement - "yoisho." The pounding itself is exhausting as the mallet is quite heavy. My family and I were fortunate to be able to give it a try. My husband did some with my daughter, and I helped my 2 year old son. What fun!

Having had the opportunity to have New Year's in Japan, it is fun to participate in some of these traditions here in the states. Interesting, though, is how the Little Tokyo celebration lumps all of these Japanese customs and traditions into one day. In Japan, one would only participate in temple visits, special food, family visits, and mochi making. The rest would be experienced in different times.

If anyone would like a fun thing to do on New Year's Day next year, I would suggest Little Tokyo

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Message from babrown

I recently read a lesson plan on museums in the classroom. What a way to introduce museums and display artifacts (even if they are pictures) to tell about the Chinese/Japanese culture. Parents could bring in things from home or ... well, the possibilities are endless. Follow up with going to the Japanese Museum in LA. (I took my 4th graders there last year - they loved it!)

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Message from egant

Over the break, I visited LACMA's East Asian Collection-- I had remembered that a family friend had donated a burial stone to the Korean exhibit, and I wanted to see it again. Hidden away in the lower level of the building, it's not the most spectacular piece in the place-- two heavy black marble tablets with aged gray characters grided across the face-- but it has an interesting story; one I was lucky to find out.
The characters on the tablet certainly don't look Korean. They're not. Written in Chinese (as most literary and government documents were in the 1700s-- see the wikipedia article on Hangul, which, though developed in the 1400s, was not widely used until the 1900s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul), the stone records the history of the Suh family. It notes the various government offices held in the family, as well as the personalities and a brief CV of each notable. I asked my friend if this was done with each family member, as it would be a pretty redundant affair-- and she responded that since it was such an expensive custom, it was probably done only with the most important members of the family, like this former Prime Minister.

She came into possession of the stone about 5 years ago, when the family's burial ground in Korea was sold, and the cemetery had to be moved in preparation.

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Message from scampbell

Has anyone been to the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo? An old roommate of mine has a friend who's a docent there. I'm sorry I missed the "Big Drum Taiko in the U. S." exhibit--it finished up on Jan. 8th. They do have an ongoing exhibit: "Common Ground, The Heart of Community". The exhibit chronicles 130 years of Japanese history in the U.S. I'm planning on going--my friend knew I was in this program and got me a couple of tickets If anyone has been and knows of something I should especially check out--let me know...[Edit by="scampbell on Jan 28, 12:58:07 AM"][/Edit]

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Message from scampbell

When I was just looking up info. on the museum, I found an article on it from The Journal of Historical Review. The title: California Subsidizes Japanese American Museum. It seems, when George Deukemajian was in office, he first turned down, then passed a bill for a grant of $175,000. The museum was to be built on the grounds of a Historic Buddhist temple in little Tokyo. The city would get the money if they matched 1 mill.$. It would show the experience of immigrants and would serve as a conscienceof America-- reminding of the civil injustices of WW11.[Edit by="scampbell on Jan 28, 1:58:56 AM"][/Edit]

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Message from dockerman

While in the area (I don't think San marino is that far), may I suggest a visit to the Huntington Library. There was a great article on it recently in the LA Times:January 21st. Crates of limestone that was mined from Lake Tai, west of Shanghai has made its way to the Huntington Library. Very soon, the Library will open the largest Chinese garden outside of China. It is an $80-million project. San Marino now has an Asian majority. The Library realized that to secure its future it needed help from ethnic Chinese to connect with the new residents and donors.

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Message from dockerman

I forgot to add, the first phase of the Chinese Garden will not open until 2008. The president of the Los Angeles branch of the China ocean Shipping Co. donated 100 cargo containers so the garden would not have to bust the budget of the Library to bring over materials from China. Chinese artisians were finally able to gain visas to work on the landscape architecture. If you go, get reservations for tea in the "Rose Garden." It is a delightful place to have lunch!
I can't wait until this opens!

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Message from crieder

On Monday of this week I visited the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA. What a pleasant surprise it was to explore a museum I never knew existed. I appreciated it all the more because of my current studies about the history and culture of Japan. It would be a great place to direct students to visit after studying Japan. I plan to encourage my seventh graders to visit after our Japan unit. The collections are rotated so I wanted to come up with an open ended kind of activity. I decided if the kids chose to attend for extra credit I would have them fill out sentence starters as they visited. Some examples would be: I wonder why....I was amazed....I would like to know more about.....I was impressed.....I learned..... They would benefit from a visit, especially as the culmination to a unit.
The museum itself just exudes peace and serenity. I felt as if I were inside a temple. The high, decorative ceiling is seemingly held up by Japanese screens, which are really tall panels made to look like screens. As you wander through the exhibit the floors meander into one another along ramps and at the bottom there is a rock like stream that reminded me of our study of Japanese gardens. I started by viewing the hanging scrolls which depict different scenes of Japanese cultural and religious life. A love of the natural and serene are noticeable themes.
Next, I explored a room of Japanese landscape paintings. These works show the evolutionary phases in Japanese painting. The earliest are of sacred places, habitats of Kami, Buddhist miracles, and pilgrimage routes. They are places described in poetry for display of cherry or plum blossoms, maple leaves or scenes in literature. In the 14th to 20th centuries painting changed as travel became more common. The influence of China lessened and western style painting was eventually imitated. As I walked through the history of landscape painting as a novice to the subject, I could pick out different techniques from much more abstract and simple to the use of perspective and the use of more realism. All of this keeping a distinctive Japanese style. One can really get a flavor of the culture and the landscape by enjoying these paintings. Junior high students would enjoy viewing the paintings as well.
In another room there was a statue of Amide Buddha and pottery from the Yayou and Joman periods. I found out what a Living Natural Treasure is in Japan. When an artist is proficient in a traditional artistic skill he or she is protected and encouraged. A kimono with dye applied on silk was displayed and an explanation of the process the artist used. I found the box of playing cards from the Edo Period especially interesting as there were 100 cards to be read each with a well known 31 syllable poem. One card would show the full poem and the matching card would have the last 14 syllables of the same poem.
I learned that Shinto art is much more limited in quantity than Buddhist art. Shinto sculpture is kept in closed shrines while Buddhist sculpture is not. There is a close association between Shinto art, dieties and the court.
Students would be especially fascinated with the samurai suit or armor displayed. The one in the museum is made of laquer and silk and was not worn in battle but for travel, parades and military games during times of peace. I was fortunate to hear a 10 minute speech by a docent explaining the life of a samurai and a little on Japanese society and the place the samurai had in society. She mentioned that if an item in Japan is useful it had to be beautiful as well!
As I left the museum I found the Netsuki Gallery which is full of miniature sculptures unique to Japan. They were worn on kimonos with no pockets to help secure boxes which held money, tobacco, and writing implements. I would have liked to spend more time looking at the netsukis. I will have to save that for my next visit! I would highly recommend a trip to the gallery. It made me appreciate the knowledge I am gaining from participating in the UCLA/Palos Verdes Forum. I want to visit more museums to enrich myself and hopefully my enthusiasm will spread to my students!

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Message from privera

Crieder -- I just wanted to tell you that I really liked your idea of using "sentence starters". I like that it can be used for a number of assignments and that it solved the problem you face when you don't know what exactly what your students will encounter on their visit. Great idea, I want to use it.

Thanks!

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Message from rrustamzadeh

After months of waiting, my request was accepted to take my students to LACMA. How in time! We are halfway through China(the chapter). We were so excited. The kids were all pumped up. I was especially excited because this would be my first visit after becoming so knowledgable about China(Thanks to Clay). But our being pumped did not last very long, we were all punctured by hearing that China section is under construction and will remain so for 2 to 3 years to come.
Well we managed to visit India, Iran, Rome, Mesopotamia and Egypt. You can imagine what the students were mostly thrilled about. Yah you're right the mummies.

I made it up to kids. I took them next door, to Page museum(Labrea Tar Pits).

I thought I'd let you know, just in case you are going. Now you know. [Edit by="rrustamzadeh on Feb 6, 10:31:07 AM"][/Edit]

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Message from jpratt

I was reminded of how resourceful Pasadena is for museums, hello growing up there I should have remembered. Anyway I was disappointed to learn that the Chinese garden at Huntington Library/Garden is under construction.

The owner of the grounds wrote in his will that he didn't want his land sold to Blacks, Jews, or Chinese. Ha! If he only knew that a Chinese man is in charge of Huntington!


Has anyone visited the Asia Pacific Museum recently? I'm looking for additional ideas to bring into the classroom.

jem

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Message from oiwuagwu

I visited the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Compared to the Getty, LACMA, or Norton Simon you won't get as many visuals. However, there is some good reading material there on the history of Chinese Americans, hence the name. I think it would be a good visit for students grades 6 and up. However, I don't think it should be a day trip because the facilities are quite small.

Check out their website with this link

http://www.camla.org/images/garnier1.jpg

http://www.camla.org/images/camlogoA.gif

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Message from oiwuagwu

The Huntington Library and Museum in San Marino has an excellent Japanese Garden. I visited it over the weekend and Highly Recommend it for the garden as well as the pleasant atmosphere. They have a lot to offer for American and European art. Kids are welcome.

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Message from cyu

If you are interested in the history of Korean American, there is a place to go in Los Angeles. It will show you the history of Korean community in Los Angeles through images from its beginnings in 1904. The exhibit's discussions of achievement in the face of class and racial restrictions offer an outstanding lesson for all who encounter it. It also offers first hand experiences through the medium of art as well as hands-on workshops that help student interact with the exhibition through art-making and writing. The gallery hours are 11am-6pm on Wednesday - Friday and on Saturday from 11am-3pm. If you make an appointment, they will accommodate group tours outside of these hours. If you would like to arrange a visit or tour, call at (213) 388-4229, or via email at info@KAMuseum.org. The address is
3727 West Sixth Street (cross street Harvard)
Fourth Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90020

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Message from dockerman

There is a wonderful opportunityat the Armand Hammer Museum. It is an exhibit entitled "A Letter From Japan: The Photographs of John Swope." The exhibition highlights photographs documenting the aftermath of World War II and features a copy of the 144 page letter Swope wrote to his wife, actress Dorothy McGuire, during his stay in the country. The museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., in Westwood. The exhibit ends June 4th.

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Message from rboller

Yesterday, I went to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena to see the exhibit "Reflections of Beauty: Women from Japan’s Floating World". I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit, which featured works of art from the floating world or ukiyo from about 1603 to 1868.

These works focused on the geisha, with many of the pieces showing them in the act of constructing their beauty, entertaining, dancing, attending parties or engaging in leisure activities around Edo.

There were photographs and objects from the period including makeup sets, hair ornaments and kimonos. The pieces I most enjoyed were several "mitate" (pictures in imaginary settings that involved a new context or seeing of the subject). One of these showed a Japanese beauty with a Chinese patriarch. The accompanying text explained that this pairing was frequently made and was intended to represent sexual fulfillment with spiritual enlightenment. This association of the beautiful geisha with figures representing Chinese culture was also said to be an attempt to represent the military government of the Edo period's seduction by the merchant class.

I was also able to view the rest of the museum collections and found them interesting and beautiful. My 10 year old son was charmed by the display of "netsuke" masks, which were small wooden carved weights attached to the obi to counterbalance other items. I was somewhat fascinated by an ornate necklace from Tibet, which was described as a part of a "ritual bone apron". This necklace was carved from human bone and was amazing.

I was quite lucky to visit the museum at this time as the gift shop is being reorganized and their merchandise is being offered at large discounts. I picked up some lovely items for my classroom including a gorgeous umbrella and some paper lanterns.

In terms of instructional applications of the Pacific Asia Museum, it would make an outstanding fieldtrip destination with my students. If I cannot manage the logistics of a field trip, I did find that their homepage has links to much of their collections, if not the special exhibits. Perhaps my students can take a "virtual" trip to the museum.

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Message from nmacanish

During the month of June I had the pleasure of going on a tour of the Japanese American Museum in downtown Los Angeles. This museum focuses on the experience of Japanese Americans during the internment camps. The idea is to show the experience of the immigrants through the lens of this historical mishap. The museum docent spoke to us about how this experience changed many Japanese families for years to come. The docents at the museum were all people who had experienced internment. Some remember, others were too young to remember.

This museum would be a great experience to take your students of US history. It shows how many of the Japanese packed up their belongings in a basket and made the journey to the West Coast. There were pictures from Angel Island and even some examples of the picture brides. The pictures in the exhibit were very powerful. Most of them were real, but others were thought to be staged government propaganda. The propaganda pictures were interesting because it would show a “typical” Japanese American family sitting around a table, 1950’s Cleaver style, while living in an internment camp. Scary what they can make us believe.

The museum works hand in hand with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy. I took a stop over there on the same day. They also have an interesting exhibit highlighting the contributions of varying ethnic groups in the effort to preserve American Democracy. A few of them were Asian Americans. Both exhibits were powerful reminders of the will of any people to want freedom and fight for freedom, even when the country of their supposed freedom turns against them.

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Message from vhui

Great info. The Huntington Library should definitely be checked out.

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Message from juliedavis

Japanese American National Museum—July 11, 2006
1. Common Ground: The Heart of a Community (Continuing)

Since I missed a class due to parent conferences, I needed to complete a make-up assignment. I had wanted to visit the Japanese American National Museum for quite some time, but this gave me further incentive to go. I attended with another current seminar participant (Richard) and a former participant (Keely), which was great because we were immediately able to make connections to seminar content and discuss how these exhibits could be incorporated into our curriculum.

The first exhibit we visited was called “Common Ground: The Heart of a Community.” This is a permanent exhibit at the museum. The exhibit details the history of Japanese Americans in the United States, beginning with the arrival of Japanese immigrants to Hawaii through the present. One of the most striking features of the exhibit involved the issue of internment during World War II. An actual tar paper barracks from a concentration camp in Wyoming had been transported to the museum by previous residents, and we were lucky enough on our visit to meet a former resident of one of the internment camps. He was only eight years old when his family was forced to move to Idaho, and he told us that for the first two weeks in the camp, the only things available to eat were Vienna sausages and stewed tomatoes. He could go anywhere he’d like within the camp’s grounds during the day, but at night, he was only allowed to travel within his own block. People were forbidden from singing Japanese songs, having large group meetings, and celebrating Japanese holidays and customs (in short, anything that the soldiers felt promoted Japanese nationalism). To make money, this man had worked harvesting potatoes, where he could earn $0.10 for each bag of potatoes he collected. He even noted that “political correctness” was in place in the camps, as the guard towers that were erected were referred to by the soldiers as “fire watch towers,” as if that is what their real purpose was. This man repeated that even if they had wanted to escape, they couldn’t—where else would they go but the barren desert? One of the most memorable things, though, that this man told us was that even though times were mostly miserable in the camp, there were moments of fun. He said that his view of life has changed and remains positive, and although he used to see life as a “rocky road,” he now sees it more like a ribbon with twists and curves around the “Maypole of life.” I thought that was an incredibly positive attitude to maintain after all he had endured. It was also interesting to see forced evacuation signs, belongings of those in the camps, and photos of how Japanese Americans contributed to the war effort.

I highly recommend a visit to this museum. As I walked through this exhibit, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a valuable experience it would be for my students to hear the personal story of an actual concentration camp resident. That, in combination with the many photos from how the Japanese were treated in Los Angeles, would make history feel much more relevant and close to home. Most of my students think that history happened such a long time ago, but hearing about it firsthand and seeing an actual barracks makes the experience come alive and seem as if it were just yesterday.

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Message from juliedavis

Japanese American National Museum—July 11, 2006
Exhibit 2: Kip Fulbeck: Part Asian, 100% Hapa (now through October 29, 2006)

First of all, let me say that I didn’t even know what the word “hapa” meant until I attended this fun exhibit. This exhibit is a collection of portraits by the photographer Kip Fulbeck (who considers himself Hapa). According to the exhibit’s literature, he was inspired by always being asked the question, “What are you?” by people who wanted to know his heritage.

There are many striking qualities about these portraits. First, the photos are of just the faces of males and females of all ages. There names are not included with the photos, but each was asked to describe themselves in their own words and handwriting, and this appears (along with their ethnic heritage) underneath their faces. Some of their descriptions of themselves are humorous, while others express frustration at a world where they have not felt accepted for who they are. To me, it was inspiring to see the beauty of the vast mixtures of cultures and how people can identify themselves as many things—sometimes things that have to do with their cultures, but often they chose to describe themselves as something beyond just an ethnicity.

I think this exhibit would be a lot of fun to take students to see. Many of my own students are of mixed racial heritage, and I know that they could identify with these subjects’ struggles with identity. In addition, on certain days, the museum takes Polaroids of visitors and asks them to write about themselves (just like the exhibit). What a great way for students to make a personal connection with culture and art! In fact, it would be great to do this anyway with students, even if they could not attend the actual exhibit, to encourage pride in their heritage and to learn about the cultures of others.

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Message from jreynolds

I love to also buy replica objects whenever I can. I have my own "Faux" museum in my classroom. While the objects are not truly old, the students love to look at them and touch them and talk about how items were used or what they are. While real artifacts are expensive, and easily broken, good reproductions can also be very useful in a classroom setting. Some items are not replicas of famous artifacts, but are still very useful. One of my favorite items is a sandstone carving of the wisdom mudra of buddhism, which the kids try to mimick and ask what it means. The things that are more breakable I use museum gel to stick it to the table it sits on so it cannot fall off if bumped (or in an earthquake).

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Message from vhui

That is simply a great idea. If one is not able to get a hold of physical objects, I think enlarged photos can work.

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Message from jreynolds

Thank you! I use those too when I can't get something they can touch. They are fascinated by even the pictures. If you can use a color printer when possible it really captures their interest. I have pictures for Hindu gods and the Buddha like the one I have here next to my name. The artistry captures their interest and also teaches them about art styles because they always think it's a girl. I explain to them that art is different in different places, and even though the Buddha may appear effeminate to them, it is not. I could probably do a better job of explaining it to them if I learned a little more about Indian art (so I recently purchased a book on the topic).

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Message from jreynolds

I went to the Pacific Asia Museum yesterday, and will be writing a class-make-up on my trip. But I wanted to send this information out more quickly than my assignment so no one misses out! The museum is undergoing a remodeling right now, and although some of the exhibits are closed, it is going to look great. Most interestingly to you, however, is that the gift store is liquidating EVERYTHING. Go now, before you miss it! They have some great items, and they even gave me some stacks of postcards for free. (They are selling them for a penny each anyway!).

I purchased a framed pair of bound shoes, about three inches long (what they aspired to). They were made out of old fabric from the 19th or early 20th century but made recently. They originally were selling them for $125, but I quickly picked up a pair for $20! When I left they had about six or so left. They also have books for a dollar or two, silk from Japan for half off and some 19th century small chinese porcelain items you can purchase, among other great things. They appear to want everything to go and open a totally new store when the remodeling is finished.

Have fun if you go!

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Message from wrodriguez

I decided to visits the Bower’s Museum located in the city of Santa Ana, in Orange County. Exhibits on hand that might be of interest to middle school teachers: displays of art from pre-Columbian Mexico, Central and South America; artifacts from various tribal groups from the pacific rim to China and Southeast Asia (which I will elaborate on in the next paragraph); and a mummies exhibit, which focuses on the process of this ritual and has artifacts on display ranging from amulets to papyri. The first two exhibits are permanent, while the mummy artifacts will be at the museum until April 2007.

Of particular interest for those looking for Asian artifacts is the exhibit that shows artifacts devoted to the Miao people, a minority group found in southwest China. According to the background information provided by the museum there are eight million people that identify themselves as Miao, and overall there are over fifty distinct minority groups found in China. Therefore, when looking at the Chinese people it is important to recognize that it is not just one monolithic group.

The Miao people are known for their colorful textiles and elaborate sliver ornaments. Motifs found in their cultural expressions are spiral patterns, dragons, flowers, and birds. One example on display are sliver crowns, which resemble flat discs. It is stated in the museum plaques that crowns are typical headdresses for the Miao people. Also on display are sliver necklaces, embroidered jackets, and dyed/pleated skirts. The plaques for these various items state that single young women wear them because of the belief that the more silver a woman wears the wealthier and more beautiful they will become in the future.

There are at least eight distinct Miao artifacts on display. In addition to these artifacts, there are items on display from minority groups found in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.

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Message from mhogan

As a hapa myself, I find it very interesting to see how others define themselves. When I was young, I was constantly asked about my heritage. "What are you?", or my favorite, "I'm normal. What are you?" When I was young, there weren't many hapas in the area, so "hapa" was not an acceptable answer. In order to help me, my parents armed with with knowledge. By the age of 5, I could explain my ethnicity, nationality, and race and also explain the difference between all 3. I don't think my peers understood my answers, but they did stop asking.

My grandmother always hated us to use the word "hapa", because when she was young, it was considered a derogatory word. She preferred us to call ourselves "ai no ko" - children of love. (Obviously, only those overwhelmed by love would allow themselves to marry across racial lines.)

In terms of ethnicity, I never really belonged to any one group, but I chose to identify myself through other channels. As I started to travel, my look allowed me to quickly identify the majority asian group of the area I visited, for I would always be mistaken as that ethnicity.

In today's time, hapas are far more common. I've had numerous hapa students, and the term "hapa" has entered the mainstream. I suppose there are enough of us, that there can actually be an exhibit dedicated to us

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Message from juliedavis

I love the answer you gave others! That was what was so intriguing about this exhibit--that people's concept of what is "normal" and what people "are" is ever-shifting. My family is of Danish heritage, and I had to laugh because on one of the portraits, a young hapa boy said he was part Danish but didn't like to tell people that because they always thought he meant he was a pastry! I think, perhaps, your grandmother's alternative term is the most beautiful, though. Have you seen the exhibit? If not, you would probably enjoy it immensely. Check when they're taking the polaroids so you can add yourself! There's also a great companion book to the exhibit that would be fun to share with students.

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Message from jreynolds

I missed a class (and I was sad about it!) so I had to make it up by attending a lecture or going to a museum. I chose to go to the Pacific Asia Museum. As I stated in my website review, it has an awesome website, so that is one of the reasons I chose to go there. I really liked to the look at the Buddha section of the website, and it excited me to go to the museum and actually look at the pieces.

When I got there, I was disappointed to find out it was being remodeled. There were at least three sections of the place shut down, and a lot of the Chinese and Japanese relics were what was not available to the public, or not labeled. In the first room there were beautiful jade looking pieces that had no labels, so it was hard to identify. While that was disappointing, I did see a whole lot of useful items in the room for Southeast Asia. There was a pretty sizable dancing statue of Ganesh from India, with the story of how Ganesh came to be and came to have an elephant head. It was very cute, really. There were also many different Buddha statues in a few different rooms. Some were from the website, and were great to see in person because the sizes were different, and one of them, was just absolutely much bigger than I thought it would be, and it was just great to look at! It was a very peaceful Buddha. There were others too, and it gave me a good idea for the lesson I would use with the information at the Museum.

There was also a lot of beautiful porcelain in another section that I think had already been renovated because it looked much nicer than the rest of the Museum. It was very beautiful, but honestly, it wasn’t all that old and it would probably bore a bunch of 6th graders. Lastly, I went into the gift shop, which was liquidating and purchased some bound shoes, books, silk scarves and postcards. Some of it was just for my benefit, but some of it will also be useful in the classroom.

For a lesson, I would be excited to create a lesson for Buddhism using the website of the Museum www.pacificasiamuseum.org and the museum itself. After teaching what Buddhism was, which I personally like to show parts of or all of Little Buddha with Keanu Reeves to help with, I would continue the lesson. Students are always curious about the Buddha they are used to seeing, the happy chubby Buddha in Chinese restaurants. This would be how I would open the concept of seeing different representations of Buddha, as well as the fact that anyone can be a Buddha according to Buddhism, it means an enlightened person, not just THE Buddha, or Siddartha Gautama, who they learn about in the textbook and the movie. I would use the website to further introduce them to Buddhist art, perhaps in the computer lab, letting the kids play on the site in pairs, and giving them a sheet to fill out… perhaps in conjuction with the game they play on that particular topic. (It’s a fact or fiction game). Also, perhaps it would be fun to have them write down the differences they notice (some of which are pointed out on the website) between the different buddhas in different places. They could speculate and/or debate on why there are differences. Then we could go on a field trip to the museum, which by then will be even better because the renovation should be complete. They can stay in their partners, and look at the items they saw up close, noticing the size, the color and anything else they see that is similar or different. AND where they came from. Maybe even draw it… sitting, or standing (some are walking). I didn’t notice any of the Happy Buddha’s there, but I do have one small one in class and would be happy to purchase one bigger just for the activity. We could discuss the information I found out about how Happy Buddha is not THE Buddha, but a different person that reached enlightenment (see Wikipedia in English and search for Happy Buddha for interesting info). Discuss their observations. Then, for a concluding activity, they could make a chart, like a graphic organizer, with different Buddha drawings representing the differences (by them or cut and pasted from the website) and then I would give them categories, like color, face shape, sitting or standing, and if it is THE Buddha or a Buddha, etc. They would get a great cultural art lesson and be able to see the differences between the different Buddha’s they see in life. To make an even more strictly standards based under the chart they could make a graphic organizer of the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path. Using pictures to convey the meanings will mostly be a way to show they understand them more than just to copy them, or instead of the graphic organizers or along with them, they could apply the 4 noble truths & the eightfold path by writing a story instead of how someone they know became enlightened according to the ways of Buddhism.
[Edit by="jreynolds on Jul 18, 4:48:03 PM"]Edited for more appropriate title. [/Edit]

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Message from mhogan

No, I haven't seen it yet but hope to before it leaves. Thanks for the classroom ideas

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Message from vhui

If anyone is unable to go, their website is good to visit. While not as great as seeing things in person, the website has a lot of images and information. If you are able to go, it is free every 4th Friday of the month.

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Message from jreynolds

I unfortunately missed a second class so I had to make it up by attending a lecture or going to a museum. There were some great lectures to choose from, but unfortunately they were all during a time of day I could not attend. Therefore, I chose to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The Ancient China section was closed due to construction. I was disappointed because I currently teach 6th grade History, so the parts I could use this year are not available to me, however, I can’t wait until it reopens; I will definitely go. In the meantime, my school keeps changing what I teach, so I might end up with seventh grade history in the near future, who knows? Due to this, I was happy to go to the Japanese Art Pavilion, which was open.

This building is set up in a cylindrical building that has very attractive fiberglass walls, which mimic rice paper and are meant to be great for viewing Japanese Art. The sign said it was because that is how they saw it and painted it, within their buildings. The fiberglass was less exciting in the night time, as I went after 5 (thanks to Target, free after 5 everyday!). However, there was lighting on most of the items so you could see it better. The art is arranged with screens of art and scrolls in small sections of 2 to 5 slowly spiraling up the cylinder and then an art and ceramics gallery at the top.

LACMA actually has a larger collection, which it rotates in the museum. I think that is a shame, because when I was there, I thought it seemed like an awful small collection for such a large museum. Particularly so in the gallery that had the older art and ceramics. Some of the items in the gallery were wonderfully interesting. There were many Buddhist sculptures, and an exciting Samurai armor/sculpture called “Samurai Armor of the Gusoku type”. I think that the students would particularly find this object interesting – especially in person. There were really wretched block print pictures in the gallery as well, which I personally disliked looking at because everything within them was bloody. However, they were like that in order to show the horrors of war.

The art gallery of screens and scrolls was interesting; it had many different Literati paintings, and also had a few different anomalies, pictures that didn’t look like the others. I particularly like “Three Poets”. (I’m trying to attach a picture of it). It was drawn in a way that doesn’t look like the rest of Japanese art, and they said it was like caricatures drawn in a hurry.

As for a lesson, I think that taking the students to this museum would directly relate to standards for students in the 7th grade. The way it is set up, there is enough room to take a couple classes at a time. Students might appreciate the screens and scrolls more if there is a docent led tour, or if the teacher can talk and point out what they want to the students to know about the art. They would enjoy gallery (including the bloody block prints for the boys), and definitely the armor.

It would work for the following standards:
1. Describe the significance of Japan's proximity to China and Korea and the intellectual, linguistic, religious, and philosophical influence of those countries on Japan. Currently many Literati works on display.
3. Describe the values, social customs, and traditions prescribed by the lord-vassal system consisting of shogun, daimyo, and samurai and the lasting influence of the warrior code in the twentieth century. The art depicts Samurai throughout many centuries.

5. Study the ninth and tenth centuries' golden age of literature, art, and drama and its lasting effects on culture today, including Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji. The exhibit has art mostly from later, however there is some from this time period.

6. Analyze the rise of a military society in the late twelfth century and the role of the samurai in that society. The art depicts Samurai throughout many centuries.

Because it touches on many different standards, I think the best way to use this for students would be to teach them the information first, and then take them to the museum armed with some knowledge, while the teacher relates classwork ideas to items they see on view at the museum. It would be a spectacular review for the students, and give them some more in depth knowledge of what the items are. Additionally, some of the artwork can be obtained by the LACMA website here:
LACMA Japanese Gallery

That can be used in the classroom if you can't make it to the museum.

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Message from rparker

A great new resource is the Chinese American Museum in LA across from Union Station. Although in its infancy, the museum gives a real sense of the Chinese experience in LA, particularly since the rest of Chinatown is several miles away. Chinatown had to move to accommodate the Angelinos requirements for freeways and a train station.

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Message from rparker

A trip to the Chinese Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights is worth the effort. Complete with a museum, this temple allows one to experience the tranquility and peace of Buddhism, along its sights, sounds, and smells here in Southern California.

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Message from rparker

For those that live in southern Orange County, the Sherman Gardens and Library in Corona del Mar is a great trip. I especially enjoyed the koi fish.

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Message from ccrawford

If you get a chance to visit UCLA, a visit to Fowler Musuem would be most enlightening! The exhibit has a few photos of the Dalai Lama and of people in Tibet........but the show had several genre. I enjoyed each piece and appreciated the placards which had his sayings. It is well presented and all the artwork was thoughtful and sincere. Most serene and a nice breath of fresh of air.
Cathy

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