We're delighted to present a special tour of the new Asia Society Hong Kong Center's facility and its inaugural exhibition, Transforming Minds – Buddhism in Art, with their Assistant Gallery Manager, Dominique Chan. Following the tour, participants are invited to attend a lecture by Professor PP Ho, Devotion and Patronage: Why and How Buddhist Monasteries Were Built
Asia Society Hong Kong Center's Inaugural Exhibition
Asia Society is establishing a new home at a former explosives magazine/military site in Admiralty on Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. The site has 4 historic buildings that were developed in several phases between the 1850s and 1920s. Two of the buildings, Magazine A and Magazine B, were used to produce and store explosives and ammunitions. They have now been transformed into a gallery space for exhibitions as well as a small theatre. The Center and an inaugural exhibition titled, Transforming Minds – Buddhism in Art, are set to open in early February 2012. The exhibition will showcase Buddhist works from the world-renowned Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Arts along with contemporary works by leading Asian and Asian-American artists that draw inspiration from one of the world’s great religions. The show asks the diverse local and international audiences visiting the new Asia Society Hong Kong Center Gallery to consider the ways in which Buddhist art has changed over time and space. Although originating in India, Buddhism travelled across Asia and was transformed by local cultures. Recently, a combination of individualism and an interest in Buddhist beliefs has impacted the artistic production of contemporary artists. This exhibition is a rare occasion to see examples of cultural adaptations and collective responses to Buddhism in pre-modern times as well as individualized responses to Buddhism in contemporary artistic practice. The exhibition will run from the 10 February to 20 May 2012.
Lecture with Professor Puay-peng Ho
Devotion and Patronage: Why and How Buddhist Monasteries Were Built
We appreciate Buddhist sculptures for their beauty in form and serenity in spirit. Obviously, there are more questions that we can ask about the sculptures presented at this exhibition. One may wonder where were they housed originally? How were they commissioned? What were the motives in sponsoring the making of these images? Likewise, similar questions can be asked of the Buddhist monasteries to tease out the social and devotional background of Buddhist establishments. This lecture will focus on China around the 6th-10th centuries to present a broad picture of patronage of monasteries and images at many levels of society, from the emperors to the aristocrats. It will highlight the connection between the form of Buddhist architecture and images, and the purpose of commissioning them. More than 50,000 state-registered monasteries can be found all over China dating to this time period, and the lecture will delineate the intersection between faith, devotion, patronage and the arts.
Professor Puay-peng Ho(何培斌教授) is Director of the School of Architecture and Director of the Centre for Architectural Heritage Research of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his First Class Honours degree in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D in Art History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His thesis focused on Buddhist art and architecture of the Tang dynasty. Professor Ho is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Architecture Historians. His research interests and publications are in the areas of Chinese art and architectural history, vernacular architecture, and architectural theory.