Media only: Laurena Ortiz: 202.633.0522
Barbara Kram: 202.633.0520
Public only: 202.357.2700
Visitors to Washington, D.C. this summer can enjoy evenings filled with Asian music and dance, films from Hong Kong, hands-on children's activities and special tours and talks at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art (Jefferson Drive and 12th Street S.W.) and nearby Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1050 Independence Avenue S.W.) when the museums remain open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays between July 10 and August 14 for "Art Night on the Mall."
For the eighth year in a row, the Freer and Sackler participate in "Art Night" along with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of African Art. The Hirshhorn is open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays from June 26 through July 31 and African Art is open until 8 p.m. all Thursdays in the month of July. Information on their "Art Night" offerings can be found at www.hirshhorn.si.edu and www.nmafa.si.edu.
In addition to programs, visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibitions at the Freer and Sackler, including "Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics" at the Sackler Gallery. The exhibition features ceramic sculpture created in the early 1950s by internationally renowned sculptor and furniture designer Isamu Noguchi. Also at the Sackler are "Auto*Focus: Raghubir Singh's Way into India" and "After the Madness: The Secular Life, Art and Imitation of Bada Shanren." Visitors to the Freer can see more of Bada Shanren's paintings and calligraphy in "In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Bequest of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai." Other exhibitions at the Freer include "Whistler's Greatest Etchings: The 1889 Amsterdam Set" and "Tales and Legends in Japanese Art."
All programs are free, but tickets are required for films in the Meyer Auditorium. Free tickets (limit two per person) are given out one hour before the event begins. For more information, the public can contact (202) 357-2700 or visit our website, http://www.asia.si.edu.
Made in Hong Kong
The astonishing range of Hong Kong's still-vibrant film industry is represented in this eighth annual festival, including brand-new films making their Washington debuts and classics from some of Hong Kong's master directors. All films are in Cantonese with English subtitles. This program is cosponsored with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
Thursday, July 17, 7 p.m., Meyer Auditorium
This chilling urban ghost story stars Eason Chan as Peter and Shu Qi as June, a mysterious woman whose visions and strange disappearances plunge Peter into a world in which fantasy and reality become increasingly confused. Transforming Hong Kong itself into an eerie night-world, famed director Ann Hui turns the horror genre into a haunting exploration of one man's unraveling psyche. (2001, 98 min., print courtesy of Media Asia Group, Ltd.)
"Love on a Diet"
Thursday, August 7, 7 p.m., Meyer Auditorium
The creative team of Johnny To and Wai Ka-fai team up for this wacky romantic comedy about an overweight pair who fall in love while shedding pounds. Sammi Cheng plays Mini Mo, who has ballooned to three hundred pounds in a nonstop eating binge since her Japanese boyfriend left for America ten years ago. In a desperate attempt to get thin before his return, she turns to Fatso (Andy Lau), who agrees to embark on a weight-loss campaign with her. With its engaging stars and unabashedly goofy story, "Love on a Diet" is a comedic feast. (2001, 94 min., print courtesy of Tai Seng Entertainment)
Art Night Storytelling and Tours
Thursdays, July 10 and 24, 6:30 p.m.
Visitors can enjoy stories while touring the galleries as docents bring to life selected objects in the museum and share time-honored folktales representing the diversity of Asian oral traditions.
Indonesian Children's Choir
Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m., Freer steps (rain location: Meyer Auditorium)
These young singers, accompanied by traditional drummers, perform song styles from across the Indonesian archipelago, including the famous Balinese "monkey chant" and the electrifying chanted body percussion of Islamic mysticism in Sumatra. Presented in cooperation with the InSeries.
Vocal Music of North India: Subhashish Mukherjee
Thursday, July 24, 7 p.m., Meyer Auditorium
Mukherjee brings the atmosphere of India's monsoon season to the Freer with his Malhar ragas, traditionally performed every summer to reflect the season's rain, lightning and daytime darkness. He is accompanied by Subhash Karmarkar on the "tabla." Supported by the Bajaj Family Foundation and the Indian Music and Performing Arts Center.
Dances of Celebration: Folk Traditions from India
Thursday, July 31, 7 p.m., Freer steps (rain location: Meyer Auditorium)
American-based dancers and musicians from across India present the distinctive costumes, rhythms and movements traditional in the lush backwaters of southwest of India, the northwestern deserts and the distant northeast mountain regions between Burma and the Himalayas.
Axiom of Choice
Thursday, August 14, 7 p.m., Freer steps (rain location: Meyer Auditorium)
The Los Angeles Times calls the music by this quartet of Iranian émigré musicians " tender and passionate, floating through the consciousness with the intensity of a dream." Their eclectic mix of instruments combines traditional Iranian flute, fiddle and percussion with the guitar and cello, and their latest CD, "Unfolding," explores poet Omar Khayyam's mystic vision in a manner the L.A. Weekly describes as a "bracing yet peaceful fervor that opens the cardiac floodgates to the possibility of universal love."
Point of View: Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics
Thursday, July 17, 6 p.m., Sackler, level 1
Curator of ceramics Louise Cort walks visitors through the "Isamu Noguchi" exhibition and talks about the important role the sculptor played among a group of Japanese artists breaking radically with tradition.
Meet the Author: Firoozeh Dumas
Thursday, July 17, 7 p.m., Freer conference room
Humorist Firoozeh Dumas shares stories from "Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America," a hilarious autobiography about her life in Southern California. A book signing follows.
At ImaginAsia, children explore an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. Children ages 6 to 14 accompanied by an adult are welcome. All programs take place in the classroom located on the second level of the Sackler Gallery. Sessions for groups larger than eight must be reserved in advance.
Chinese Calligraphy and Painting (ages 6 to 14)
Thursdays, July 10, 17 and 24, 5:30 p.m.
Participants explore the revolutionary brush paintings and calligraphy of Bada Shanren and learn Chinese calligraphy and brush painting in the classroom.
Arts of the Islamic World (ages 6 to 14)
Thursday, July 31, 5:30 p.m.
Children and their adult companions explore the arts of the Islamic World in the galleries and use stencils and block printing to produce a print in the classroom.
Playful Clay (ages 6 to 14)
Thursdays, August 7 and 14, 5:30 p.m.
Participants explore the whimsical creations in the Sackler exhibition, "Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics" and make a sculpture to take home.
Thursdays, July 10 through August 14, 5:30 and 6 p.m.
The Freer Gallery of Art (12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W.) and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1050 Independence Ave. S.W.) together form the national museum of Asian art for the United States. The Freer also houses a major collection of late 19th and early 20th-century American art. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and admission is free. Public tours are offered daily. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call 202.357.2700 or TTY 202.357.1729, or visit the galleries' Web site at www.asia.si.edu.