Excuse me, do you work here?

Never mind that neither of us really liked (or “got”) modern art, but Asian as we are, it was our cultural obligation not to waste the coupons we had.

T was scrunching her eyebrows at almost every piece, muttering in Japanese how none of it made sense. I, on the other hand, entertained myself by watching the other museum go-ers, imagining fake conversations they were having about the meaning of life represented by a single dot on a white canvas.

Thank goodness we stumbled into the next room.  I picked up a headset next to a life-size photo of a young Indian girl, dressed in beautiful colours.  Her voice was full of hope and excitement as an interviewer asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.  “Doctor, lawyer, fashion designer”… But, after being shot down again and again by the interviewer telling her she “probably won’t be able to do those things”, I decided this was an art piece I wanted to remember.

I look for a security guard but instead spot a guy in the corner typing on a laptop.  I ask: “Excuse me, do you work here?” Him: “Yeah… sort of”.  Me: “Um… [weird guy], is it okay if I take photos here?” Him: “Yeah…it’s probably okay.”

Well, that was strange. I walk away from him, making a face at T revealing my confusion. I motion to her that it’s okay to use our cameras.

Suddenly, I notice the projector in the front of the room. (I say “suddenly”, though the projector was allegedly there the entire time).  Text spills out at the bottom – some sort of descriptive novel. No, wait, that’s not right. T and I stare at the screen for a few minutes before we get it. What a cool idea! This I want to remember too. I go to the middle of the room, kneel and take a photo of the guy.  I glance at the projector. Nice.

T and I laugh. We look at the projector again.

I tell T to hold onto my arm. We skip around arm in arm, in circles, giggling like little schoolgirls. We look at the projector again.


We watch other people coming into the room and see how long it takes them to notice.

15 minutes later, we see him getting packed up. T says we should leave too, because the museum is closing. Noooooo, I thought!!! Just when modern art was getting fun!!!  But, alas, I regress. Everyone is filing out of the room.  As we walk towards the door, T says to the guy, “Thanks for great art!”.  I nod enthusiastically and give him a big pat on the arm. (Perhaps this was unwanted bodily contact but I felt I wanted to congratulate him on this beautifully simplistic idea). We leave reluctantly.

Outside the exhibit, T and I are sad. We were having so much fun! At a modern art museum, no less!  An idea pops into my head and I say to T: “Hurry, hurry, get on my back!” T jumps on without hesitation.  We run in, surprising the guy who’s now already packed up. I gallop in big circles, T on my back, laughing hysterically.

Okay, now we are ready to leave.  Outside the exit, T jumps off.  We peer in.

Hooray, success!

All in all, a wonderful day at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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