SJMA Without Borders



SJMA at Áo Dài Festival V

Saturday, May 12, 2018
11 AM – 5 PM

SJMA will bring its mobile art studio, Art Portal, to the Áo Dài Festival V, which showcases Vietnamese traditional dress, culture, and art in the Circle of Palms in front of SJMA.

Enjoy a free community art-making activity in SJMA's lobby from 11 AM - 3:30 PM. The Vietnamese weaving and embroidery project will be incorporated into an Áo Dài that will be worn in the festival's fashion show. At 4 PM, head for the Circle of Palms Plaza in front of SJMA where SJMA's Art Portal will be the backdrop for a free showcase of the colors of an Áo Dài procession and a dragon dance, the sounds of taiko drums and zithers, and traditional Vietnamese court costumes.

For more information, check out Áo Dài Festival V.



Photograph courtesy of Eric Heights.
A Mural of Hope
The Propeller Group in collaboration with El Mac
Sophie Holding the World Together, 2017 from “Viet Nam: The World Tour,” 2010-ongoing
Public Mural

The mural Sophie Holding the World Together is the ninth iteration of The Propeller Group's ongoing project Viet Nam: The World Tour. Through murals, performances, and events, the internationally acclaimed art collective creates opportunities for connections across borders. The project was conceived as a nation "unbranding" campaign, to rethink how media influences ideas about nationality, and to envision more borderless ways of living. Previous iterations of the project have been presented in Saigon, Kabul, Singapore, Brisbane, Los Angeles, Paris, Lyon, and Amsterdam.

Painted by the celebrated muralist El Mac in collaboration with The Propeller Group, Sophie Holding the World Together is a portrait of nine-year-old Sophie Cruz. Born in Los Angeles to undocumented immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, she has become a face of the American immigration reform movement. She appears in the mural as a symbol of resolve and hope; a coming together across borders to fight for a shared future.

This mural is the result of an unprecedented collaborative undertaking by the San José Museum of Art, The Propeller Group, El Mac, Empire 7 Studios, and the Children's Discovery Museum. It is permanently installed on the portico of the Children's Discovery Museum facing West San Carlos Street, only a ten minute walk from SJMA.

The mural was commissioned in connection with the exhibition The Propeller Group at SJMA October 27, 2017 – March 25, 2018.

Related Event: Celebrating San José’s New Mural of Hope
Saturday, March 24, 2018
2 – 4 PM

Discovery Meadow, San José SJMA and partners will celebrate the new public mural, Sophie Holding the World Together by El Mac in collaboration with The Propeller Group, with live music and family-friendly activities. Free.


Image: Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, FOREST (for a thousand years...), 2012. Installation view from dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel Germany.
FOREST (for a thousand years…) at University of California, Santa Cruz’s Arboretum and Botanic Garden

April 7 – June 30, 2018

SJMA is pleased to collaborate with the Institute of the Arts and Sciences of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Arts Division on its presentation at the university's Arboretum and Botanic Garden of: FOREST (for a thousand years...), the beguiling and uncanny audio installation by renowned Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

FOREST (for a thousand years...) will be installed in the redwood grove of UC Santa Cruz's Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This will be the West Coast debut of the 28-minute sound installation, originally commissioned for dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany.

To experience the piece, you follow a path through a densely forested redwood grove. Branches crunch under your feet until you reach a small clearing populated by tree stumps. As you sit down, the sounds of rustling trees, crackling branches, and bird calls subtly intensify. An airplane passes overhead. Someone laughs. It is nearly impossible to determine which sounds are coming from a recording and which sounds are live. When machine guns begin to fire and an explosion detonates, the eeriness of the experience becomes laced with quickly amplifying uneasiness. An indeterminate history merges with the present, filled with both horrors and the sublime, and becomes an audible presence in the shadowy forest.

About the Artists: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are internationally recognized artists known for their immersive multimedia sound installations and their audio and video walks. Their recent solo exhibitions include: 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan (2017); ARoS Aarhus Art Museum (2015); Museo Nacional Centro de ArteReina Sofia, Madrid (2015); and The Menil Collection, Houston(2015). Recent group exhibitions include Being Modern: MoMA in Paris, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014); and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany. In 2011, Cardiff and Miller won Germany’s prestigious Kathe Kollwitz Prize. They also represented Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale, for which they received the Biennale's Premio Speciale (Special Prize) and the Benesse Prize.

Read more at the Institute for Arts and Sciences site.



Art Portal Brings Arts Activity into the Community

This February, SJMA launched its new Art Portal, a mobile art studio that brings arts activities into the community. Part of the Museum’s Vietnamese Community Outreach Initiative, a two-year long effort to engage multi-generational audiences with the mobile art studio at festivals, shopping malls, and libraries within the Vietnamese community, the Art Portal debuted at the Tết Festival at the Vietnamese American Community Center, where some 450 people enjoyed making clay figures inspired by The Year of the Dog.

Based on SJMA’s popular community days, the Art Portal will support a variety of pop-up visual, literary, and performing arts activities by Vietnamese artisans. These events will include lectures, demonstrations, and workshops by traditional artists such as ceramicists, musicians, brush painters, and poets as well as contemporary artists. Demonstrations are accompanied by related hands-on activities from SJMA’s educational staff and volunteers. The Art Portal will extend SJMA’s reach into other parts of the community as well.

Upcoming appearances will be at Celebrating San José’s New Celebrating San José’s New Mural of Hope and SJMA at Áo Dài Festival V in the Circle of Palms, San Jose on May 12, 2018.

The Vietnamese Community Outreach Initiative is supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.