August 20th, 2009

piranha - bored blunt cut.

Lord of the Samurai at Asian Art Museum

So Seanie and I went up to San Francisco today to look at the Asian Art Museum's Lord of the Samurai exhibit. The show focuses on a single family, the Hosokawas, as they dominated their province for six hundred years.

There was a little bit of everything in the show. Swords, wall-hangings, great suits of armor, teaware, lacquered boxes, an incense game set, and even a few moth-eaten robes.

Since all the pieces displayed came from the same family, it was a bit like pawing through a personal archive. But to be honest, I thought the show was a bit disorganized. It seemed to jump around, both thematically and chronologically, and it was a little difficult to really feel the context of the pieces.

Maybe I felt this way simply because it was such a masculine world being showcased. There was one or two portraits of prominent women in the family, but for the most part they were invisible.

In the end it was a bit disappointing. It was like...y'know how seeing relics of the past will often make that civilization come to life? That magical transformation never really happened, and I was left feeling slightly bored and unsatisfied.