Countdown To Blast Off! At The Asian Art Museum

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, JUNE 6, 2007– In conjunction with the special exhibition Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga, the Asian Art Museum presents Blast Off!, a manga (Japanese comics), anime (animation), and pop culture convention that will captivate all ages and inclinations, aficionados and amateurs alike. Featuring a vast array of engaging programs—all FREE with museum admission—the museum-wide extravaganza promises to educate and excite the whole family.

The festivities will commence at the front steps with an opening ceremony performed by the traditional taiko drumming troop Gen Taiko. Upon entering the museum, visitors will find a variety of engaging activities presented throughout the day—hands-on manga-illustration workshops led by local artists, teen-guided exhibition tours, artist talks, panel discussions, and musical performances. Museum visitors ready to flaunt their talents can participate in a manga drawing contest, a Dance Dance Revolution dance-off., or a cosplay talent show (from the words "costume" and "play," cosplay is a subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, and video games).

Don't miss Blast Off! For additional information call (415) 581-3666 or email Please visit for details on the manga illustration contest. Complete schedule follows.


11:00–11:20 AM, Opening Ceremony with Gen Taiko, Front Steps

  • Join the venerable San Francisco taiko group, Gen Taiko, in this festive opening ceremony that is sure to start the day with a bang.

11:00 AM–4:00 PM, Drawing, Gaming and Printing, Oh My! North Court

  • Jing Bentley and Mark Miyake, of print 'zine Punk Punk fame, help visitors find their inner mangaka (manga artist) as together they explore the world of dojinshi (self-published manga).
  • Meet game developing wizard Derek Yu and watch him work his magic with a pen and computer.
  • Artist Hellen Jo demonstrates the process of printmaking. Visitors can watch and learn, and then make their own.
  • Anthony Wu, local comic book artist and creator of Alice in Wonnerlan' and Station, is on site to wow audiences with his quick sketching skills.

11:00 AM–4:00 PM, Manga Lounge; Lee Gallery

  • In the Manga Lounge, visitors can explore the connection between the work of Tezuka Osamu and anime and contemporary manga, watch looping anime clips, check out a fan's bedroom filled with memorabilia, try their hand at making manga in the interactive drawing space, and see an eclectic display of toys and collectibles.

11:00 AM–4:00 PM, Dance Dance Revolution; Education Seminar Room

  • Dance your heart out with the popular video game, Dance Dance Revolution.

11:00 AM, 12:30 and 2:00 PM, Art Speak Teen Tours; Meet at the entrance to Osher Gallery

  • Attend an informal talk given by teens highlighting artwork the special exhibition, Tezuka: The Marvel of Manga.

11:00 AM–3:30 PM, Panel Discussions and Artist Talks; Education Studios 1 & 2

  • 11:30 am–12:30 pm: Manga and anime experts Fred Schodt and Gilles Poitras discuss the historical influences which inspired Tezuka Osamu, and his impact on today's manga and anime artists.
  • 1:00–2:00 pm: Artist Marco Flavio Marinucci demonstrates woodblock print techniques and discusses the connection between manga and traditional Japanese printmaking.
  • 2:30–3:30 pm: Visitors can earn about the doll culture that is related to cosplay ("costume play") from local Japanese pop culture guru, Kelly Haines.

1:00–1:45 PM, Storytelling; Meet at the Information Desk

  • The Asian Art Museum Storytellers bring the galleries to life with the myths and folktales of Japan.

1:15–4:30 PM, Performances, Dress Up and a Drawing Contest,, Samsung Hall

  • 1:15–2:15 pm: Natsu Onoda adapts Tezuka Osamu's story Okina mori no monogatari (The Story of a Big Forrest) into an image-based performance involving video, drawing, and puppets.
  • 3:00–3:15 pm: The manga drawing contest winners are announced and prizes awarded to the winners from the three different age groups. To enter the contest, visit and follow the instructions for posting artwork.
  • 3:20–3:45 pm: Visitors are encouraged to unleash their inner showmanship with cosplay ("costume play"). Dressing up as their favorite anime, manga or Japanese pop culture character and dazzle the crowd in the "talent show." To register for cosplay, email
  • 4:00–4:30 pm: Music duo Ramen and Rice perform songs on the cello and violin from popular anime and games. Yes, they are as cool as they sound!

About the Asian Art Museum:
The Asian Art Museum is a public institution whose mission is to lead a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic, and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture. Holding nearly 16,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history, the Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. Once located in Golden Gate Park, the museum now resides at its new, expanded facility at Civic Center Plaza. An architectural gem featuring a dynamic blend of beaux arts and modern design elements, the museum's new home is the result of a dramatic transformation of San Francisco's former main public library building by renowned architect Gae Aulenti (designer of Paris's Musée d'Orsay) into a showcase for the museum's celebrated collection and exhibitions.

  • Information: (415) 581-3500 or
  • Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
  • Hours: The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with extended hours Thursdays until 9:00 PM. Closed Mondays.
  • Admission: $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (65 and older), $7 for college students with ID, $7 for youth 13–17, and free for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. Admission on Thursdays after 5 pm is just $5 for all visitors (except those under 12, SFUSD students, and members, who are always admitted free). Admission includes a complimentary audiotour of the museum's collection galleries (offered in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese). Target Tuesdays: The museum offers FREE admission to all on the first Tuesday of every month, courtesy of Target Stores.
  • Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair