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June of Arts

Handpicked Happenings

The dawn of June will draw more tourists to our shores. This is doubtless a plus for the city’s revenue, but it’s a debit for residents who will have to compete for space in our great museums. The following menu, while not entirely clandestine, contains June art happenings in lesser-lit nooks that are not too populated by fanny packs and travel guide literature.

June 3rd: The Shanghai Dress, Asian Arts Museum
The Shanghai Dress, a.k.a. qípáo or cheongsam or Mandarin dress, features those elegant, formfitting garbs embroidered with orientalism. They typically bear patterns that speak nuanced artistry and pedigree that can be traced back to the 1920s. Join Jane Zhu, a popular qípáo tailor, for a night of interactive history, fashion and culture that is sewn into the fabric of these dresses. With cocktails and music by DJ Quantum.

June 3rd-29th: Pierrick Gaumé’s Automorphoses, Alliance Française San Francisco
Prima facie, Gaumé’s Automorphoses seem like accidental art. After all, the exhibition is composted of anamorphic photographs of San Francisco reflected by automobiles’ glossy skin. Upon closer inspection, it’s anything but chanced. Executed under natural light, these photos are utterly symmetrical by way of dualism, as surrealism jockeys realism, and vice versa. Think of Dalí’s melting clocks struggling to come to life.

June 15th & 19th: 2010 Festival of Flamenco Arts & Traditions, Berkley
You’re in for a treat if you’re well-acquainted with flamenco arts — Manuela Carrasco and Manuel Agujetas are to headline this year’s festival. If you’re not so acquainted, here is your shot to get a remarkable introduction to an art form that is at once sexy and romantic and unfailingly entertaining.

June 17th: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, Cartoon Art Museum
Iron Man has Robert Downey Jr., but does he have a secret history in Japan that spans over forty years? Batman does, apparently. Chip Kidd, true to his name and author/designer of the new Bat-Mangas!, presents with visual aids this interesting secret history. Perhaps even more interesting, especially for Batmantologists, is Japan’s trans-cultural interpretation of the cape crusader.

June 20 & 27: Improv Shakespeare, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
You might need qualifications for this one, lest the jokes might escape thou. Namely that a) you’ve at least read the Cliffnotes of Bill’s blue chip plays, and b) you’re not a reactionary who will seize puritanical offense at the liberties with which the troupe will hack at these sacred texts. If nothing else, you’re guaranteed a night of blasphemy.