10 February 2012 – 22 July 2012
Transforming Minds presents sublimely beautiful and deeply spiritual works of art, encompassing traditional and contemporary masterpieces from a mix of Asian cultures. The show asks the diverse local and international audiences visiting new Asia Society Gallery (Former Magazine A) at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine to consider the ways in which Buddhist art has changed over time and space. Although originating in India, Buddhism traveled across Asia and was transformed by local cultures. In recent times, a combination of individualism and an interest in Buddhist beliefs has had an impact on the artistic production of contemporary artists such as Montien Boonma,Zhang Huan, Mariko Mori and Michael Joo. Each of these four artists has a different approach to the theme of Buddhism, from conceptual and scientific to ritualistic and communal. Their works provide the audience with an opportunity to question preconceived ideas about Buddhism and to reconsider religious art and the artistic exploration of religion in contemporary contexts.
This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see examples of cultural adaptations and collective responses to Buddhism in pre-modern times, as well as individualized responses to Buddhism in contemporary artistic practice — a fitting subject as the shared futures of Asia and the United States continue to evolve.
Dr. Melissa Chiu is Asia Society’s Vice President, Global Art Programs and Museum Director and is the Lead Curator of Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art. Dr. Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society Museum, New York, and Dr. Miwako Tezuka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Asia Society Museum, New York are co-curators of the exhibition.