If you’re passing the Asian Art Museum on Hyde Street, make sure to look up to see the inaugural mural by Chanel Miller, representing healing as a three-part process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future. The museum has installed large vinyl renderings of the triptych, Chanel Miller: I was, I am, I will be, in the Brayton Wilbur Foundation Gallery, a gallery overlooking Hyde Street in the new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion.
These images will be visible both day and night through the gallery’s long, faceted windows. Miller’s process drawings and sketches will be presented across the street from the museum in the San Francisco Main Library (when it is able to reopen for in-person service). The Library has selected Miller’s Know My Name for its 2021 One City One Book citywide literary event.
“The idea was to make the artwork visible from the street as a source of warmth or this beacon in the dark…but now with Covid, I think the city really needs it — I need it.” — Abby Chen, Senior Associate Curator and Head of Contemporary Art — The New York Times
Miller’s artwork was originally scheduled to be on view in early May at the museum and later in the year at the Library, but installation was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The museum and the Main Library are currently closed to the public, while both organizations are working on plans to reopen once clear guidelines are in place for how best to protect visitors and ensure they enjoy a comfortable, fun, inspiring, and above all, safe, experience.
“This piece serves as an homage to process, rather than outcome. Healing happens when we are able to incorporate the full spectrum of our experiences and integrate our collective selves.” - Chanel Miller
Miller is a Palo Alto–born artist and writer based in San Francisco and New York. She first came into the public eye, anonymously, as “Emily Doe,” the victim of a 2015 Stanford University sexual assault whose powerful impact statement presented in court went viral. Miller relinquished her anonymity and reclaimed her identity in September 2019, when she published the critically acclaimed memoir, “Know My Name.” I was, I am, I will be is Miller’s first commissioned artwork for a museum.
“We transformed the Asian Art Museum precisely so we could share more contemporary art, and more kinds of contemporary art, than ever before,” says Jay Xu, Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “The quiet, but forceful optimism of Miller’s drawings functions as a potent reminder that there are many ways to make your voice heard, and not just heard, but resonate far and wide. It’s a message we all need as part of our recovery from this period of loss, pain, and fear.”
The artwork will be on view through February 2022, accompanied by other major commissioned murals on the pavilion façade from artists Jas Charanjiva (Don’t Mess With Me) and Jenifer K Wofford (Pattern Recognition).
Image credit: https://exhibitions.asianart.org
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