This talk explores the types of imagery found in late Burmese murals and links the way in which they were depicted with contemporary religious and social trends. Through the standardized organization of the three sets of canonical stories, the murals express a number of different concepts, particularly the importance of hierarchy, kingship and the merit path to enlightenment (nirvana) to Burmese contemporary society, while the magical and protective imagery indicates the inclusiveness of Burmese Buddhism.
Speaker Dr. Alexandra Green has an M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Prior to taking up her appointment as Research Assistant Professor at HKU, Dr. Green was Curator of Asian Art and Museum Director at the Denison Museum, Denison University, Granville, Ohio. Her catalogue of Burmese art at Denison, entitled "Eclectic Collecting: Art from Burma in the Denison Museum", was published in June 2008 by NUS Press. Further publications include "Burma: Art and Archaeology" produced by the British Museum Press in 2002. She has also lectured on Southeast Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies and was Curator of the Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, UK.