Category Archives: Germany

Padmasambhava exhibition in Berlin extended to end of June: The Eight Manifestations of the Precious Teacher – Padmasambhava in Art and Ritual in the Himalayas

Guru Rinpoche, der „Kostbare Lehrer“, Detail aus dem Berliner Thangka-Set Südliches Tibet oder Grenzregionen zwischen Tibet, Bhutan und Indien  Ende 17./ Erstes Drittel 18. Jahrhundert  © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst / Jürgen Liepe

Guru Rinpoche, der „Kostbare Lehrer“, Detail aus dem Berliner Thangka-Set
Südliches Tibet oder Grenzregionen zwischen Tibet, Bhutan und Indien
Ende 17./ Erstes Drittel 18. Jahrhundert
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Asiatische Kunst / Jürgen Liepe

from: 28.11.2013 to: 29.06.2014
Museum für Asiatische Kunst

Presented in cooperation with the Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Padmasambhava, also revered as ‘Guru Rinpoche’, meaning ‘precious teacher’, is the most important ‘Vajrayana’ or Tantric Buddhist master of the Himalayan region. He is attributed with establishing Buddhism in this vast region in the 8th century. It is purported that he did so by overcoming and vanquishing demons and local deities, and by enacting a ritual dance. This dance serves as a prototype for the masked dances that are still performed today. Some of the demons Padmasambhava even transformed into protectors of the religion and these now form the main figures in Tibetan ‘cham’ ritual dances.

The exhibition focuses on the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava (Guru Tsengye). These manifestations, or aspects, are embodied in thangkas (paintings on embroidered silk), masks, ritual objects, pilgrimage sites, and ritual dances. The display highlights both the ancient historical traditions and the thriving contemporary ones that surround the guru. The display subsequently examines the medieval history of the Himalayas and blends historical artworks with film material and masks from today. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the Museum für Asiatische Kunst’s recently restored set of nine thangka paintings. This is the first time art historians and ethnologists at the Staatliche Museen have joined together to explore the traditions surrounding Guru Rinpoche and his eight manifestations. A team of art historians has analyzed the representation of Guru Rinpoche and his eight aspects in art and their historical origins. The art historians’ work not only includes a visual analysis of the Berlin thangkas, but also an examination of their original cultural context as a cultural medium that once served as both ritual object and the material personification of history. Meanwhile ethnologists have shed light on the theme of ritual and examined how the tradition of Padmasambhava devotion continues to affect the everyday life of the people of Bhutan and Ladakh (remote northern India) today. Continue reading

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PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany invites applications for two PhD scholarships for dissertation projects related to Buddhism:

Deadline for applications: 15 October 2013
Start of scholarship: Spring semester 2014 or later
Duration of scholarship: 3 or 4 years
Scholarship amount: 1000 € per month + insurance + support for rent + 460€ per year
Scholarship donor: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The selection process comprises two stages: Applications are sent to the Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies in Munich. The program will select promising candidates and forward their materials to the DAAD. In a second stage, an election committee chosen by the DAAD will decide upon the successful candidates. It is expected that the successful candidates will be chosen and informed by March 2014.

The prerequisites for application are non-German citizenship (foreign applicants should not have lived in Germany for more than fifteen months at the time of their application), a Master of Arts or Magister Artium degree or equivalent, excellent knowledge of at least one Buddhist source language, outstanding qualifications in the subject and fluency in English. A basic knowledge of German is also desirable and willingness to learn German/improve German language skills will be expected.

For details concerning the application, please visit our homepage:

http://www.en.buddhismus-studien.uni-muenchen.de/currentissues/phd_scholarships/index.html

Munich workshop: Reading Outside the Lines: Intersection of Buddhist Art and Texts [September 13-15, 2013]

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München is pleased to announce the workshop “Reading Outside the Lines: A Workshop on the Intersection of Buddhist Art and Texts” on September 13-15, 2013 in Munich, Germany with keynote addresses by Christian Luczanits (Rubin Museum of Art, New York) and Alexander von Rospatt (UC Berkeley).

The workshop’s schedule can be found on our website:

http://www.en.buddhismus-studien.uni-muenchen.de/currentissues/reading-outside/index.html

Participation is free, but please register as soon as possible as the number of participants is limited. For registration please write to buddhist-studies-workshop@lrz.uni-muenchen.de

Thais protest Buddha statue in German art display

The Nation
2 July, 2013

ThaiProtest

Thais protested Tuesday against the use of a Buddha statue in an art installation in southern Germany, saying the exhibition was disrespectful. Photo: EPA.

About 15 members of the World Fellowship of Buddhists marched outside the German embassy in Bangkok, waving banners in English,Thai and German saying “Stop disrespecting Buddha,” “Buddha is not an art object,” and “Buddha’s image is not furniture.” Continue reading

‘Fallen Buddha’ image raises ire

img_press1_17_highBangkok Post, 27 Jun 2013 at 20.07

The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has expressed outrage over a disrespectful image of the Buddha placed on the ground in the middle of a market in Munich.

Tourists take a picture with ”Fallen Buddha” displayed in an art exhibition in Munich. (Photo from http://www.aspacecalledpublic.de)

Made in Dresden, the sculpture looks like a sitting Buddha image that has fallen over backward.

Passers-by often take inappropriate pictures with it and drunks sometimes climb on top of it, WFB said.

The organisation added that related authorities were doing nothing to stop the sacrilege. Continue reading

Zen Graffiti: Artist Jens Jansen renders zazen in spray paint

Tricycle
09 Apr 2013

Monk 4

Jens Jansen is ordained in the Soto Zen lineage. He teaches art and design in Frankfurt, Germany.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Neuss, Germany Exhibit: The Life of Japanese Paintings

Asian Art
January 16, 2013

happy monks

IN CONTRAST TO the more static approach taken in Western culture, Japanese painting is often treated as something that can be modified – it can be cut apart and reassembled – thus repeatedly embarking on a new life, be it in the form of a hanging scroll, an album leaf, or a folding screen.

This history of Japanese painting is vividly demonstrated by the 20 works of art from the Viktor and Marianne Langen Collection on show in Neuss, Germany. According to the modern conception of art, the act of fragmenting and reformatting represents an (inappropriate) intervention into the integrity of an artwork. Yet a different approach has been pursued in the history of Japanese art and culture. Here fragmentation does not signify the end of a picture. Instead, a newly formatted section might foster other perspectives; it can be assigned new functions and enter into a different web of social and political relations. Even today, paintings are reassembled for conservational purposes: for example, works of art that have deteriorated due to wear and tear, such as fan paintings and sliding-door paintings, can be backed and used as hanging scrolls to protect them. Continue reading