Archive for the ‘Asian Art’ Category



Open until September 10, 2017

This exhibition has been curated by Dr. Emily Sano, Senior Advisor for Asian Art, and director emeritus of the ASIAN/SFO.

What impressed me most besides the quality of the works shown, was the inclusion of art works from different countries and cultures we do not always associate with Pure Land Buddhism.

On June 16, the San Antonio Museum of Art will present Heaven and Hell: Salvation and Retribution in Pure Land Buddhism, the first exhibition in the U.S. to explore in detail one of the most popular forms of Buddhism throughout Asia.

Featuring approximately 70 works—including paintings, sculpture, and decorative objects—the exhibition contrasts the visions of heaven and hell, ideas that are central to Pure Land Buddhism. Curated by Dr. Emily Sano, PhD, the Coates-Cowden-Brown Senior Advisor for Asian Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art, the exhibition features some of the most stunning examples of works created as part of the sect’s devotional and funerary traditions. They are drawn from twenty private collections and institutions across the country and world as well as the Museum’s own Asian collections. Heaven and Hell will be on view through September 10, 2017.

Originally developed in West Asia during the early years of the Common Era, Pure Land Buddhism spread across Central Asia to China and into Tibet, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, pulling in and incorporating the gods and figures of local faiths in each new culture. One figure, Amitābha, the Buddha of the Western Paradise, remained at the center of the Pure Land faith, promising salvation in his heavenly paradise to anyone who simply calls his name. This promise of salvation and an escape from the pain of hell—even to those who led less than exemplary lives—helped Pure Land Buddhism flourish and expand throughout Asia. In contrast, the more traditional Theravada Buddhism held that nirvana could only be obtained through devout study and meditation.

“Heaven and Hell provides a dynamic and in-depth view of Pure Land Buddhism, highlighting the way different cultures adopted and adapted the faith,” said Sano. “Its adherents found commonality in inspiration and devotion, while also contributing their local beliefs and imagery to the practice.” The result is a richness of both religious narrative and imagery that makes for compelling viewing, including in rituals that continue to the present day. The exhibition explores these different regional approaches, and the evolution of devotional art as Pure Land Buddhism moved eastwards across Asia.

Lenders to the exhibition include the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Cleveland Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Philadelphia Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Dallas Museum of Art. Curated by Emily Sano, PhD, the Coates-Cowden-Brown Senior Advisor for Asian Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the former director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the exhibition will also be accompanied by a catalog. (San Antonio Museum)

Below a unique and most beautiful sculpture of the Bowing Buddha

Bowing Buddha



Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place

9 September 2017 – 25 February 2018


Featuring more than 100 outstanding works of art, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place will showcase the long history, vast geographic expanse, and amazing diversity of works of art in the Islamic world.

Two factors distinguish this exhibition: first, the inclusion of works from Southeast Asia and East and West Africa, areas largely overlooked in most exhibitions of Islamic art; and second, modern and contemporary works are featured side-by-side with historic objects.

Works in the exhibition cover nearly all media, ranging from carpets to dress to jewelry, ceramics, glass, metal, paintings, prints, calligraphy and photographs. This exhibition will delight viewers with dazzling works that span over 1,400 years of artistry.

 This exhibition is organized by the Newark Museum.

Nationally, the exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional exhibitions and programming to Asia Society Texas Center. (Asia Society)



Remember 2001 when the Bamyan Buddhas were destroyed ……… some of us were fortunate to have seen them before this happened. This is an article about possibly rebuilding the colossal statues that have greeted pilgrims, merchants, monks since the 7th century.

Read this article if this interests you.


Buddhist Art News

As a subscriber to Buddhist Art News I come across some interesting and unusual articles- thought you might enjoy a few!

Buddhist Art News


On view through September 4th, 2017

The exhibit comprises 69 black and white photographs from Cartier- Bresson’s travels in India during the mid 20th century as well as his letters, camera and personal items.

Quote from Rubin’s website:

Disputed borders, refugees, charismatic leaders, assassinations—the India of the mid-century does not sound so distant from the world today. It was a time and place captured expertly and in great depth by the pioneering photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004).

In 1947 Cartier-Bresson co-founded the internationally renowned cooperative photographic agency Magnum Photos. Later that same year he undertook his first trip to India as part of a three-year stay in Asia. At the time, India was undergoing a massive political transition, having gained independence from British colonial rule and been partitioned from Pakistan. In January 1948 Cartier-Bresson traveled to Delhi to meet with one of the key players in that transition, India’s great leader Mahatma Gandhi. It would be one of Gandhi’s final meetings before the leader’s assassination at the hands of a Hindu nationalist on January 30.

The resulting photos of Gandhi’s last day of life and the events surrounding his funeral, which helped catapult Cartier-Bresson to international fame, are part of a selection of 69 photographs from the photographer’s travels to India shared in the exhibition. They reflect his abiding interest in the people and sites of India, including some examples of his “street photography” style that has influenced generations of photographers. Together they illustrate a master photographer’s perspective on transformative moments in Indian history.

End Quote


Museum for Vancouver

SINGAPOREAN BILLIONAIRE plans to build Asian Art Museum in Vancouver  dedicated to Asian and Buddhist Art.

Oei Hong Leon, a part time resident of Vancouver, loves Buddhism “not so much as religion but as a personal philosophy “. He owns about 50,000 pieces now housed in a private museum in Singapore.

At the same time the Vancouver International Centre of Contemporary Asian Art, and proponents like Robert H. N. Ho and China’s Poly Culture Group have suggested to build a museum for Chinese Art in Vancouver. My comment: The Poly Culture Group operates as a culture and art company in China – as art business and auction, as performance and theater management and as cinema investment and management company – all specially fostered by China Poly Group, a gigantic state owned Chinese business- if I am not mistaken.

And Poly Culture has launched a flagship art gallery for rare artifacts from Beijing’s Famous Summer Palace – in Vancouver.

I must visit Vancouver soon!!!





Brigitte Willach: “Jean’s Garden”, 2006; on Indonesian cotton.

This caught my attention in the most recent Textiles Asia Journal….

An extraordinary batik artist from Germany who has worked successfully for over twenty years creating batik in naturalistic, impressionistic and recently in abstract fashion has a special love for a group of batik artists – women and men – in central Java who have created very high quality batik in traditional designs, including for the court. The TEXTILES ASIA JOURNAL published in their Many 2017, Volume 9, Issue 1 an article written by Brigitte Willach about the Bimasakti batik group comprising about thirty members in a collective with six leading women.

Too bad I cannot show any photos from this article or give you a link but you can go to and order your copy of the magazine TEXTILES ASIA JOURNAL; the magazine is published three times a year by Bonnie Corwin, and always contains with articles about subject matters, books, exhibitions, reports about textiles from all over Asia you do not find any place else by experts in their respective field. You may be able to buy the magazine at the Textile Museum in Washington,D.C. (remember it is now located at George Washington University on 231st Street,N.W.), Asian Art Museum in SFO, Josh Graham Oriental Textiles in London, Carole Cassidy Lao Textiles in Vientiane.