Thursday, May 19, 2016

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

I missed out on visiting the original before it was torn down (on Bancroft Ave) and didn't get around to visiting the newly constructed BAM/PFA when it first opened. I regret not taking advantage of it sooner, as admission is free for UC Berkeley students. Here are some photos of my favorite exhibits.

The World Garden - Qiu Zhijie - 2016

Model of Endless House - Frederick Kiesler - 1959

Left: Portrait of Fidelma (Interior Landscape) - Pavel Tchelitchew - 1947
Right: Schenes from the life of Buddha Shakyamuni - Central Tibet - 12th century

Left: Hevajra mandalas - Tibet - 14th century
Right: Four mandalas of Hevajra - Tibet - 16th century

Left: Teaching Buddha - Gandhara, Pakistan - 2nd - 3rd century
Right: The Great Departure -  Gandhara, Pakistan - 2nd - 3rd century

Left: Seated Buddha - Tibet - 14th century
Right: Stupa - Khmer, Cambodia, Bayon style - 13th century

Center: The Quartered One - Louise Bourgeois - 1964-5
Right: Fée Couturière - Louise Bourgeois - 1963

Pomo baskets - Pomo people, northern California, no date

Untitled - Ruth Asawa - 1953 - 1965

Left: Proposal: A Geodesic Hangar, Plan Projection, Geodesic Dome, Diamonds of Fiberglass Laminate - Buckminster Fuller - 1951
Right: Mother in Metamorphosis Idolized/The Kathredal (A glimpse of Heaven's intermediate grandeur) - A. G. Rizzoli - 1938

Interesting personal connection: my mother was involved in the discovery of Buckminsterfullerenes (bucky-balls), carbon nanostructures that resemble Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes. My mother and other graduate students were not credited in the Nature paper, nor acknowledged in the Nobel Prize for their work. 

Latin Studies - Al Taylor - 1985

Wow! Signal - Jerry R. Ehman, SETI, Ohio State University - 11:16 PM EDST, August 15, 1977

The most popular exhibit on Instagram and Facebook from peers that visited BAM/PFA. Leave it to STEM majors to find this piece of astronomy history. This snip of narrowband radio signal has extraterrestrial and non-solar characteristics. As usual, link out to Wikipedia.

"Home-for-All" in Rikuzentakata - Toyo Ito, Kumiko Inui, Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata - 2012

Origin of the Species - Ben Rivers - 2008

There is a film projected into the shack that I watched about a minute of: woodlands, the shack, etc.

Left: Untitled - Gordon R. Ashby - 1971
Right: Plate decorated with rustic figures - Bernard Palissy - 1550 - 1600

Within, S. W. S. - Avery Preesman - 2008-9

Tomás Saraceno - 2015

I am fond of spiders and almost missed this exhibit on my way out. These are spider webs from various species.


  1. This looks like an interesting museum - I like the setup as well, based on your photos! The spider webs exhibit is actually such an awesome idea (although I'm not the biggest spider fan and seem to walk blindly face first into webs all the time).

    1. It's very different. The floors are not exactly distinct, and the architecture really makes the experience.

      The spider artist has some really interesting (larger) works not in this museum. Sounds strange, but the structure of spider webs is very thought-provoking (and a marvel of nature's engineering).

  2. It's awesome that you get free admission! You can check it out again and again whenever they have new exhibits :D // Oh gosh I have a friend who would freak OUT if he saw that spider exhibit. He'd probably pass out tbh -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

    1. Well, I'm graduating so there's not much more I can see. The museum also has an extensive collection of film from Pacific rim countries and shows them in its theatres. That's something I missed, unfortunately.

      Spiders are great. No spiders were contained in the exhibit, but it did make me wonder how webs are constructed. They're very artistic to the human eye, but the individual spider knows nothing about statics or mechanics, doesn't draft anything, and is much smaller than its creation. Very interesting indeed.