In a collaborative project with the Getty Museum, Los Angeles-based artist Alan Nakagawa presents Myth Not Myth, a series of original interactive sculptures on view at the Getty Villa this June. Nakagawa is known for his installations that explore sound, memory, and identity. Myth Not Myth deconstructs misperceptions about ancient art through conversation and sculpture. Nakagawa was interested in how the term "myth" is used both to describe the narratives and belief systems of the past and to describe stories that we consider to be untrue, false, or fictional.

The project consists of a series of oral history conversations with Getty staff and interactive sculptures inspired by these dialogues, which will be presented free to the public in the Villa's Outer Peristyle on June 11, 18, and 25, 2016.

Press Release


Answer these five questions (entirely anonymously), and your point of view will help inform the project!

  • What does "myth" mean to you?
  • What is your favorite (or least favorite) myth and why?
  • Is there a myth that has been passed down in your family (i.e. family lore)?
  • What myths do others believe about you?
  • What myths have you encountered while visiting the Getty Villa?


Learn More

Read "Confronting Myth and Misperception about Antiquities" (April 21, 2016) on the Getty Iris

Public Program

Alan Nakagawa: Myth Not Myth
Date: Saturday, June 11, 18, 25, 2016
Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m. and 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Outer Peristyle
Admission: Free | Advance Villa entry ticket required

Join L.A.-based artist Alan Nakagawa for a presentation of interactive sculptures he created in response to conversations with a Getty conservator, curator, and educator about mythology and misperceptions about the study of antiquities. This is a free, drop-in program.

About Alan Nakagawa
Alan Nakagawa is a Los Angeles-based inter-disciplinary artist who creates sound-based installations that explore the physical properties of sound frequencies and memory. He's interested in how we listen, how sound defines architecture and how sound relates to personal histories. Nakagawa studied video art and performance at Otis Art Institute (BFA) and UC Irvine (MFA), trained at the UCLA Oral History Program, and is a Monbusho Scholar. During the summer of 2015, he was invited to research the history of the hearing aid at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. He is also a recipient of the C.O.L.A. Fellowship, California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artist Fellowship, the Art Matters Inc. Award, and is currently artist-in-residence with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

To learn more about Myth Not Myth, contact Audrey Chan, Public Programs Specialist at, or 310-440-7691.