Monday, July 23, 2012

Indian Buddha from the 6th & 11th Century in Hong Kong's Art Exhibition

Indian Buddha from the 6th & 11th Century in Hong Kong's Art Exhibition - Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art

Over 10,000 visitors have seen “Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art” Exhibition Extended until July 22, 2012 Due to Popular Demand

Mumbai, 20th June, 2012 – Buddhism originated in Indian sometime between the sixth and the fifth century BCE with the teachings of the historic Budhha, and within the span of several centuries became a predominant religion throughout much of Asia. Buddhism is a religion and philosophy indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama. The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. While Buddhism remains most popular within Asia, more recently, Buddhism has increased in popularity in the West. Both the practice of Buddhism, and the art related to it, has been altered by local traditions & by popular culture over this extended period of dissemination. Asia Society Hong Kong Centre Gallery’s inaugural exhibition looks at some of the ways in which representations of Buddhist subject matter have changed over time and space.

Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art comprises sublimely beautiful and deeply spiritual works of art, representing traditional and contemporary masterpieces from a range of Asian cultures. By featuring selections from its permanent collection, Asia Society pays tribute to its founder JDR 3rd, who hoped to illuminate Asian cultures through art. As the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Asia, the Society works across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education. Mr. Ronnie C. Chan, Co-Chair, Asia Society and Chairman of Asia Society Hong Kong Center said, “Fittingly, Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art showcases the complexity and beauty of our cultural interconnectedness by examining the enduring power of Buddhism in both traditional and contemporary contexts.”

The exhibition showcases 13 traditional artworks from the Rockefeller Collection dating back to the 6th century, shown alongside 6 contemporary works by leading Asian and Asian American artists who draw inspiration from one of the world’s great religions. Through these traditional and contemporary works, the exhibition considers how Buddhist art has been transformed by local cultures from India across Asia over time. Images of buddhas and bodhisattvas carved in stone and wood, cast in bronze, and painted on cloth are included among the traditional works in the exhibition. Visitors will see four contemporary artists’ individualized responses to Buddhism and exploration of Buddhist themes, from conceptual to scientific and from ritualistic to communal. Each of these artists – Montien Boonma, Zhang Huan, Michael Joo and Mariko Mori has approached Buddhism from a different perspective.

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