The “Indian Buddhist Art” Exhibition is being organized in Shanghai by the Consulate Genral of India, Shanghai, Indian Museum, Kolkata (India) in collaboration with the Shanghai Museum. It was inaugurated on 2nd December, 2014 at the Shanghai Museum by Ambassador of India H.E. Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, Mr. Chen Xiejun, Director of Shanghai Museum as well as senior leaders from Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress and Shanghai Municipal Government.
This is the largest Exhibition of Indian Buddhist Art till date, which has been organised by an Indian Museum in China. The exhibition showcases the entire history of the life of Gautam Buddha through 91 excellent specimens (sculptures and manuscripts) of Indian Buddhist Art from the collections of the Indian Museum, Kolkata and other Museums of India. This momentous exhibition has been planned by the Indian Museum, Kolkata, as a part of the Glimpses of India Festival under the auspices of India-China Year of Friendly Exchanges 2014. The Indian Museum of Kolkata is the oldest Museum in India, celebrating its bi-centenary this year.
The exhibition represents the artistic practices of India that have been influenced by Buddhism. It includes art media which depict Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other entities; notable Buddhist figures, both historical and mythical; narrative scenes from the lives of all of these; as well as physical objects associated with Buddhist practice, such as vajras, bells, stupas and Buddhist temple architecture. Buddhist art originated on the Indian subcontinent following the historical life of Siddhartha Gautama, 6th to 5th century BC, and thereafter evolved by contact with other cultures as it spread throughout Asia and the world. The Exhibition depicts the growth and development of Indian Buddhist Art over a period of 700 years right from 5th Century BC onwards when the Buddha was depicted symbolically as an Empty throne, a pair of footprints and the Bodhi tree to the later time period (1st Century AD onwards) when the art started showing the anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha.
The Exhibition will be open for public viewing from 3 December 2014-2 February 2015 to give a glimpse of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of India to the Chinese people.