Author Archives: buddhistartnews

Experts identify 25 archaeological sites in Zone IV

AUGUST 15, 2017 BY APP

ISLAMABAD: A team of archaeological experts has identified 25 ancient archaeological sites in Zone IV of the federal capital, through its ongoing, first ever, archaeological survey.

The Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) is conducting the survey to find potential sites for excavation, preservation and documentation, and saving the precious heritage for future generations.

The survey is being carried out by the archaeological experts who have divided Islamabad into five zones, and the objective behind the survey is to conserve the endangered archaeological sites and monuments.

“The number of identified archaeological sites and monuments has reached up to 25 in Zone IV of the capital, and most of the sites and monuments belong to the Mughal and Sikh periods,” said an official of DOAM while talking to APP.

The official said that the survey has been completed in the zone, which is the biggest zone among all five zones. The survey was discontinued due to monsoon rains and will be continued in Zone V during mid-September.

The discoveries include historical monuments, worship places of the Sikhs before partition, mosques of the Mughal period, remains of the Buddhist period and memorial of the British period wars, in the zone.

The team, conducting the survey, is comprised of archaeological experts, photographers, draftsmen and other staff members, who are recording the details of the sites for documentation and finding potential sites for excavation, said the official.

The project of conducting archaeological surveys in the capital, at the cost of Rs 2 million, was approved by National Fund for Cultural Heritage (NFCH) to address the threat of endangered sites and monuments due to climate changes and construction.



In Mumbai’s nooks and crannies, reseachers are uncovering 1,000-year-old fragments of history

Yahoo News
Aarefa Johari
August 21, 2017

In the courtyard of a police training campus in Thane city’s Police Lines area is a small temple, one among hundreds of local Hindu temples scattered in the nooks and crannies of the Mumbai metropolitan region. Behind the temple, at the base of a large tree, lies an assortment of broken stone sculptures: two plump figurines carved on thick stone slabs, a Shiva Linga, an eight-inch disfigured head of a deity, a small Nandi bull and an intricately-carved slab of white stone depicting a meditating Mahavir.

Most devotees who visit the temple and sit in the shade of the tree barely give these discarded stone fragments a second glance.

Since 2016, however, three archaeology students from the city have taken particular interest in these forgotten stone artefacts. Over numerous visits, the students have cleaned, measured and photographed the pieces, and with the help of their professors, determined the approximate age of each object. While the Nandi bull and the Shiva Linga are perhaps more recent additions, the other stone slabs and figurines are from at least 700 or 800 years ago, dating back to the time when Mumbai and its environs were ruled by the Shilahara dynasty.

“We found this particular site by fluke, but ended up discovering such a rich store of local historical objects,” said Anuja Patwardhan, one of the three students who spent all of last year combing the streets of Thane city in search of the region’s undocumented archaeological heritage.

Patwardhan is among 40 archaeology students in Greater Mumbai who have participated in the Salsette Exploration Project, an ambitious academic research study that aims to discover and document whatever still remains of the pre-colonial archaeology of the Salsette region. Salsette refers to the larger island immediately north of the original seven islands of Bombay, extending from present-day Bandra, Kurla and Chembur to Thane in the north.

‘Surprised to see how much is still available’

The Salsette Project was started in early 2016 by three institutions: Mumbai University’s Centre for Extra-Mural Studies, the Archaeology department of Sathaye College and the India Study Centre Trust, an independent organisation dedicated to research on Indian history and culture.

Since then, two batches of archaeology students from these institutes have conducted ground surveys of the Salsette region, under the guidance of five faculty members heading the project. The researchers have sub-divided Salsette into five sectors, each under the charge of one faculty member and their team of students. The first batch of students completed their share of field work this April, and the project is now being carried forward through its second batch of students. Continue reading

Unkei – The Great Master of Buddhist Sculpture

Tokyo Museum of Art

Unkei – The Great Master of Buddhist Sculpture / Heiseikan Special Exhibition Galleries September 26, 2017 (Tue) – November 26, 2017 (Sun)

In Japan, no Buddhist sculptor is better known than Unkei. With his extraordinary artistic talent, he led a new era in sculptural expression, creating realistic works that appear before the viewer as though they were alive. For this Special Exhibition, Unkei’s masterpieces have been brought together from across Japan. These include works from Kohfukuji temple in Nara, with which he had close relations. In addition to presenting an overview of Unkei’s life as a sculptor, the origins of Unkei’s remarkable style and its transmission will also be explored through the inclusion of works by his father, Kokei, as well as his sons, Tankei and Koben.

General Information

Period Tuesday, September 26 – Sunday, November 26, 2017
Venue Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum (Ueno Park)

Related Events

Kohfukuji and Unkei: Particularly on the Statues at the Hokuendo (North Octagonal Hall)
Heiseikan Auditorium October 1, 2017 (Sun) 13:30 – 15:00

The Influence of the Buddhist Sculptor Unkei: With a Focus on Koen and Zen’en Honkan Room 14 August 29, 2017 (Tue) – December 3, 2017 (Sun)
This thematic exhibition explores how sculptors inherited and transformed the style of Unkei in the Kamakura period (1192–1333).

Lecture: Space, Body, Light: An Exploration of Buddhist Art Across Time & Space

Lecture: Space, Body, Light: An Exploration of Buddhist Art Across Time & Space (Part 1)
When: Sun., Sept. 3, 6-7 p.m.

Buddhist art is an immense topic. From its inception in India around 250 BCE, it has grown into a vast web of traditions spreading throughout South & Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Himalayas, East Asia – and now the west in the era of global modernism. In this talk, Art History Professor Elizabeth Davis will investigate, discuss, and enjoy a handful of extraordinary artworks that represent pivotal moments within the magnificent history of Buddhist visual culture.

Price: FREE

Tibetan Nyingma Institute
1815 Highland Pl. (Berkeley-North)

Carving the Divine: Buddhist Sculptors of Japan






Carving the Divine: Buddhist Sculptors of Japan is a documentary by filmmaker Yujiro Seki, about modern day sculptors of Buddhist art. The filmmaker seeks funds to send his film to the Sundance Film Festival.

Link to Indiegogo page, with much more information.

“Living among these Būshi for the years necessary to document them transforming blocks of wood into incredible sculptures, I was not only able to gain access into the secretive world of some of Japan’s foremost masters. Nor was I simply able to capture a world of Buddhist rituals normally off-limits to all but monks and priests. My proudest achievement in Carving the Divine is that I believe the finished film does a good job of showing how these two traditions – Mahayana Buddhism and the art of the Būshi – both sculpt and are sculpted by Japan itself, and how the struggles of today’s Būshi reflect the historical struggles of the Japanese People – to “persevere,” as we Japanese so often say.”

L.A. neighborhood stunned by sledgehammer attacks on Buddha statue. ‘We’re not going to let this hateful activity win’

Councilman Paul Koretz, whose district includes Palms, stops by the community to see the damaged statue. (Motor Avenue Improvement Assn.)

Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2017

By Ruben VivesContact Reporter

For many years, the little traffic island at Jasmine Avenue and National Boulevard in Palms was a local dumping site.

“It was just the spot where everyone dumped their couches, beds, washers and dryers,” said Lee Wallach, director of the Motor Avenue Improvement Assn.

The unwanted furniture and appliances at the median became such a problem that it seemed the city made daily trips to the intersection.

“Then literally, one night, a Buddha statue appeared and no one knows where it came from but the community was like, oh OK, there’s a Buddha in town,” Wallach said.

The stone statue, raised on a large planter, prevented people from dumping bulky items at the traffic island. It’s unknown whether that was the intent, but neighbors embraced the Buddha, dropping off roses, daisies and other types of flowers.

“It really rallied the community, and people started taking care of the Buddha,” Wallach said.

All was peaceful in the Los Angeles neighborhood until one evening last month, when a man in a white sedan pulled over, got out and used a sledgehammer to decapitate the statue. Wallach said two people witnessed the incident but were unable to write down a license plate number.

“He was heard yelling about Al Qaeda and Muslim extremism and things of that nature,” he said. “I think this gentleman is a little confused and obviously a little violent. It’s important we find him, educate him and help him.”

The crime left residents stunned. Continue reading

Mirror at the Gate: Greek Buddhist and Christian Art and Archaeology

Mirror at the Gate: Greek Buddhist and Christian Art and Archaeology
Sponsored by Springfield Museums
Thursday, October 26, 2017 – 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
United States

Mirror at the Gate: Greek Buddhist and Christian Art and Archaeology

Joseph A.P. Wilson, PhD, Fairfield University, Connecticut

Early Greek-Buddhist art and artifacts of Central Asia appear remarkably similar to early Christian art and artifacts of the Middle East. This presentation will present material connections between these neighboring regions during Late Antiquity. Eastern and Western religions were not entirely distinct. Political turmoil of the late Roman Empire spurred migration between these ancient cultures which deeply influenced the artistic traditions of both.