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Seattle Asian Art Museum to reopen Friday after years-long renovation

The Seattle Asian Art Museum will reopen its doors on May 28.

SEATTLE — The pandemic put a dent in plans to reopen the Seattle Asian Art Museum after a years-long renovation. Now, the doors will officially open again, for the public to experience the many dimensions of Asian Art.

"When you walk into the front door you can already hear the fountain, the water," said Xiaojin Wu, Seattle Art Museum's Atsuhiko & Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation Curator of Japanese & Korean Art. 

Everything has a purpose at the newly renovated Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

"When you step into any given gallery you can see the cultural exchanges throughout the region and throughout the time period," Wu said. 

It’s been a long journey. The museum underwent a major renovation three years ago and was able to unveil the changes in February of last year. But that was short-lived.

"We couldn’t be more excited to welcome people back in," Wu said. 

A timely reopening as the country comes to terms with increasing instances of hate crimes against Asian-Americans and its long ugly history of racial discrimination.

"In this moment more than ever we need this kind of dialogue, that kind of conversation and to learn where we come from and how the history played out," Wu said. 

Wu said COVID restrictions have changed the museum experience – masks are required and physical distancing guidelines are in place –  but she’s confident the themed galleries and close to 400 works of art will tell a worthwhile story.

A multi-sensory experience at a time when people are craving and celebrating culture.

"Every society thrives when we kind of embrace difference and when we welcome each other," Wu said. 

The Asian Art Museum reopens May 28. To allow for physical distancing, capacity will be limited and ticketing will be timed. Tickets will be released on a rolling basis weekly on Thursdays.