Animal Dreams

Holiday shopping got you down? Take a break from the madness and head to the Asian Art Museum today for art, eats, and storytelling. Start upstairs to catch “Out of Character: Calligraphy Decoded” before it closes on January 13. Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang has lent 40 pieces from his private collection, and the most dramatic dominates the room: a 270-inch long scroll with 15,000 limned characters of the Lotus Sutra by Zhao Mengfu. Before museum fatigue sets in, check out Café Asia, the museum’s surprisingly excellent restaurant which offers delicious pan-Asian fare alongside wine, beer, sake, and an extensive tea menu. Warm your body with a cup of steaming miso soup or get serious with yellow river orange duck. After you recharge, don’t forget to head back upstairs and catch Batik, which opened last month, and be awestruck by how such simple tools enable such a complicated technique. Batik comes from Java, the Indonesian island where creating patterned cloth with hot wax results in an overwhelming diversity of textiles, many drawing from a wide range of cultures and traditions. And don't miss “The Wicked, the Wily, and the Wise,” 45 minutes of dramatic storytelling starting at 1 p.m.. The museum assured us anyone over the age of five is welcome (judgment-free), so grab a seat and brace yourself for animal legends and dynamic deities.
Sun., Dec. 23, 1 p.m., 2012

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