Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Buddhist Art of Myanmar: Explained

buddhist art
If you missed the exhibit of Buddhist art from Myanmar at the Asia Society last year, you can watch experts examine some of the pieces in the clips below. The exhibit opened in early February last year.

The New York Times called it "quietly majestic" and the Guardian called it "beautiful and fascinating."

I saw the exhibit and loved the way it was organized. The first floor included images related to the life of the Buddha. For example, the stone sculpture reviewed below shows the mythical birth of the Buddha. Another sculpture showed the Buddha cutting his hair as he prepares to search for enlightenment.

We also saw the Buddha meditating under the Bodhi tree and being tempted by Mara.

An expert reviews that image below.

If you studied all the pieces on this floor, you would walk away with a good idea about the life of the Buddha.

The second floor included pieces about ritual and devotion.  You could see a beautiful  large and intricately carved shrine as well a number of small wooden figures that represent "nats," spirits commonly worshiped  in Myanmar. They can be benevolent or malevolent and can be found in households, pagodas, and temples.


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