The Freer and Sackler Galleries Introduce Two Innovative Summer Programs: “Asia After Dark” and “Asia Trash”

May 11, 2009
News Release
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This summer the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery launch two new series, “Asia After Dark” and “Asia Trash,” in addition to their exciting repertoire of public programs. On June 4, the Sackler opens its doors for the debut of “Asia After Dark,” an after-hours series held on the first Thursdays in June and September. “Asia After Dark” offers guests an evening of art, dance and creative fun, filled with spotlight tours in the galleries, performances by the Silk Road Dance Company, food tastings from local Asian restaurants and Persian electronic music by DJ Delbar of “Asia After Dark” is a ticketed event for individuals over 21. Tickets can be purchased for $15 in advance at and a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door for $18; cash only. “Asia Trash” is the newest and grossest summertime film series held at the Freer on Thursdays from July 30 - Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. The series will celebrate some of Asia’s finest cult movies including “Versus” about Yakuza gangsters, zombies and an escaped convict still shackled to a severed hand. This film is a must see for connoisseurs of good, trashy fun.

Fun-filled summer evenings at the Freer and Sackler will also include a June 6 performance by “Music from China Youth Orchestra,” a 20-piece ensemble of musicians ages 8 to 18, performing on traditional Chinese instruments. Conductor Wang Guowei has performed with renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and the Shanghai Quartet. On June 13 and 20, the galleries will present “The Sensual S: Form and Movement,” a workshop led by Daniel Phoenix Singh and members of the Dakshina Dance Company. Participants will interact with Anish Kapoor’s steel sculpture, “S-Curve” to explore how scale, shape and form reflect and distort perceptions.

The Freer and Sackler Galleries offer a summer-long celebration of Asian music, dance, films, and special tours and talks. See a complete listing of events, dates, and times below:

August 2009


14th Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival
This year’s festival once again features a selection of films that highlight Hong Kong’s cinematic achievements. This festival is cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

My Mother is a Belly Dancer
Friday, Aug. 21; 7 p.m., Meyer Auditorium*
Sunday, Aug. 23; 2 p.m.

A group of working-class housewives find liberation when a new instructor takes over their traditional dance class and teaches them belly dancing in this charming, surprisingly moving drama. Lee Kung-lok, 2006, 104 min., Cantonese with English subtitles

Asia Trash!
Once upon a time, the Freer held “Art Nights” during the summer. Not any more. This summer, we present Trash Nights, a celebration of the campy, the gross, and the just plain wrong! Spend your summer nights with some of Asia’s best cult movies.

Tokyo Gore Police
Thursday, Aug. 20; 7 p.m., Meyer Auditorium*
Pre-film tour, “The Tale of Shuten Do¯ji,” 4:30 p.m., Sackler information desk
All tour participants will receive up to two tickets to the screening.

The “New York Times” calls Yoshihiro Nishimura’s film a “splatterific social satire.” Employing geysers of blood, mountains of severed body parts, mutant go-go girls, and other delights, it takes place in a Tokyo of the near future in which a privatized police force wages hyper-violent war on a new breed of cyborg criminals who can transform their wounds into weapons. Intended for mature audiences. Japan / 2008 / 109 min. / video / Japanese with English subtitles

Concerts and Performances

Asia After Dark

Sept. 3; 6:30 p.m., Sackler Gallery

A new after-hours series is held on Sept. 3 at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Indulge your senses in and embark on a post-work evening to get the weekend started in style. 

Purchase advance tickets ($15 per person) online at or in person during the week at the Freer and Sackler Gallery shops. A limited number of tickets ($18) are sold at the door; cash only. Each admission ticket includes one free drink ticket. A cash bar is available for wine, beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening. You must be at least 21 years old with a valid ID to attend this event.

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit This event has received support from and Mie N Yu.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other events, the public is welcome to visit For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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