“A monumental [exhibit] in about every sense of the word.”

April 15, 2014

Krishna Govardhana, from seventh-century southern Cambodia National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia” is a monumental show in about every sense of the word. At least one third of its 150-plus works are large sculptures and reliefs. Almost 100 pieces traveled from institutions across Southeast Asia. And the show’s very concept reflects new findings and directions in scholarship. The result is a show with as much to attract specialists—from inscriptions on first-time loans from Myanmar or the earliest-known statue of Vishnu from southern Cambodia—as there is to delight art lovers generally.

The works range from a toothy, monstrous figure looking down from a lintel (mid-seventh-century central Cambodia) to a majestic bodhisattva made slightly later in southern Vietnam. And nothing beats the beauty and animation of an early seventh-century life-size statue from southern Cambodia depicting the Hindu god Krishna looking most pleased with himself as, the story goes, he holds a mountain up and out of reach of a rival god’s wrath. Nearby, a Vishnu from central Thailand (late sixth to seventh century) offers a serious, warriorlike counterpoint. Broad-shouldered and muscular, he appears as strong and dependable as the rock from which he is hewn.

Lost Kingdoms:  Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture Of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through July 27

Continue reading

AntiquiTEA at Emory

at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University

Inline Image

Enjoy afternoon tea and scones as Dr. Tara Doyle, senior lecturer in Emory’s Department of Religion and director of the Tibetan Studies Program in India, discusses an extraordinary red sandstone sculpture of the seated Buddha from the first century AD.

This program is free and open to the Emory community and the public.  It will be held in the Reception Hall on Level Three.

Finding sacred images in the wood of Korea

Korean Joong Ang Daily
Apr 15,2014

The bulmo, or Buddhist artist, Heo Kil-yang carves a “Heavenly Maid” sculpture in his atelier in Paju, Gyeonggi. To create Buddhist sculptures, he goes through an elaborate process, including cutting, trimming and chiseling.

Throughout time, many Korean artists have found artistic inspiration from Buddhism. For more than 1,000 years, Buddhism permeated into the everyday life of Korean people, and thus Buddhist art prospered all around the peninsula.Those who carve the statue of Buddha are called the bulmo, which literally means “the mother of Buddha.” The name came from comparing the strenuous process of carving a statue of Buddha to a mother giving birth to a baby.

This year, artist Heo Kil-yang celebrates his 46th year as a bulmo. Having devoted his entire life to creating Buddhist art, he is a quintessential figure in the Buddhist arts. Continue reading

Inside Myanmar’s transition from isolation to openness

April 14, 2014

PBS is running a series of reports from Myanmar this week, beginning with a look at the political opening of the country and to follow with reports on how this is likely to affect culture.  


Myanmar, rocked by civil strife, has been kept isolated from the world for more than half a century. In recent years, however, the government has been proposing democratic reform and peace treaties with ethnic groups, prompting the U.S. to lift most sanctions. But how does a country move from being closed to being a more open society, and who is to gain? Jeffrey Brown reports from Myanmar.


Bodh Gaya celebrates traditional Buddhist New Year

15 April 2014

Statue in the main shrine of the Mahabodhi temple, Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya, Apr.15 (ANI): Buddhist monks from across the world converged at ancient temple in Bihar to celebrate traditional water festival, heralding the New Year for the community.

On Monday, Buddhist monks offered water at the statue of Lord Buddha in Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya and marked the traditional new year.
“Water is offered. In our Buddhist society, people offer water to each other and seek blessings from each other. Today, we celebrated water festival which we generally celebrate on the arrival of New Year of Buddhist community. We had invited people on this occasion of Songkran (traditional New Year), which also marked the anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar (architect of Indian Constitution, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar) and we gathered over here. We also celebrated it as water festival,” said caretaker of Bodh Gaya temple, Bhante Dinanand.

The area is sacrosanct to Buddhists all over the world since it was under the Mahabodhi tree that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

In the year 2002, the UNESCO had declared Mahabodhi Temple as a World Heritage Site. (ANI)


Video: Master Sheng Yen on the disposal of Buddha images

Jan 9, 2013

The Buddha’s spiritual responses, power, wisdom, and compassion are everywhere. As we read the sutras, practice the Buddhadharma, and benefit from the Dharma, we then have seen the Buddha. The Buddha exists everywhere; it’s not as if the Buddha is only in Buddha images or statues. The image or statue is not the Buddha; we worship Buddha images or statues so as to invoke our faith and develop our aspiration to emulate the Buddha.

Video lecture: Talking Art Series I: Buddhist Art in India: 2011

Louvre Abu Dhabi
08 April 2014

Buddhist Art in India
26 October 2011

Dr Aisha Bilkhair
Director of Research and Knowledge Services, National Center for Documentation & Research

Amina Taha Hussein-Okada
Chief Curator at the Guimet museum of Asiatic Art

Vincent Lefèvre
Curator in charge of Asian Arts, Agence France-Muséums


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