Ancient Buddhists art from Asia on display at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Buddhist Arts of Asia, opening May 22 and running through Aug. 30

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is showcasing 2,000 years of Buddhist art, creating a stunning portrait of one of the world’s great religions.

Buddhist Arts of Asia, opening May 22 and running through Aug. 30, traces the styles and influences of Buddhist art through more than 100 paintings, sculptures and ritual objects from the AGGV’s renowned Asian arts collection, including several recent acquisitions.

“It is extremely difficult to try and encapsulate the Buddhist art of Asia, as it has a long, varied and complex history,” says AGGV’s curator of Asian art Barry Till.

“What I’ve sought to present is a look at the great variety and styles of Buddhist art in Asia.”

Artists have been depicting Buddha and Buddhism through art since the religion was founded by Siddhartha Gautama more than 2,500 years ago in northern India, at a place now inside the border of Nepal.

The religion spread far beyond its origins in India to most of Asia and became the single common philosophical thread and cultural unity linking much of the Asian world. The morals Buddhism promotes brought about great changes in Asia.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is home to many pieces dating back to the earliest days of Buddhism.

The art works, some of which date back to the second century, come from India, Japan, Korea, China, Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, Burma, Laos, amongst others. The various representations of Buddha and the different artistic styles vary from country to country and provide an interesting look at the faith.

Curator Barry Till is offering a guided tour of the exhibition on  May 27 from 2 to 3 p.m. Art interest  tours led by gallery docents are scheduled for May 30, June 7 and June 28 from 2 to 3 p.m.  Tours included with admission or membership.

Please call 250-384-4171 or visit aggv.ca for more information.

 

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