The Dragons Gift, Sacred Arts of Bhutan, SF

Now through May 10, 2009
San Francisco Asian Art Museum

Free admission Sunday May 3, 2009 (and first Sunday every month)

The first exhibition of its kind, The Dragon's Gift provides an exceptionally rare opportunity to view some of the most sacred and beloved Buddhist arts in Bhutan. ...more from SF Asian Art Museum

SF Examiner
Marisa Nakasone
I was most impressed by the Asian Art Museum's sensitivity toward preserving the spiritual and cultural integrity of the objects--these are not mere artifacts but spiritually utilitarian objects that must be framed in the context of their original religious setting. The Asian Art Museum has addressed this by bringing a Buddhist altar into the foyer of the museum and inviting Bhutanese monks for a residency for the duration of the exhibition. The active, ritual movements and interactions between the monks, the altar, and the sacred objects reinforces the immediacy and vitality of the objects and the culture of Bhutan. ....more

Wall Street Journal
Michael Ybarra
He looks like a demon from an especially bad nightmare: a blue monster with horns and three eyes on his head, which is in turn topped by another eight heads, culminating in a strangely serene Buddha face. His main hands hold a chopper and a cup made from a human skull. Thirty-two other hands wield an array of weapons. He wears a belt of human heads and his 16 feet trample small humans and animals. A nimbus of orange flames surrounds his body. Even his penis is angry, brandished like an avenging sword.....more from WSJ
Wall Street Journal slide show

Namaste Nancy
The Sacred Arts of Bhuta is one of the most ambitious and eagerly anticipated exhibitions of Buddhist art in many years. Bhutan is a tiny kingdom in the Himalayas, wedged between the two superpowers of China and India. It was never conquered, never colonized and still survives as both an ancient independent kingdom and the world's newest democracy. The Dragon’s Gift explores Bhutan’s Buddhist cosmology through its sacred visual arts and ritual dance (cham), using Buddhism as a lens through which to explore the full range of Bhutanese culture.

Vajrabhairava is a wrathful form of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom (* see Tom Christensen's blog for a delightful exposition of this "blue meanie)

The exhibition includes more than one hundred works of art with a wide iconographic scope. Exhibited materials include thangkas (textile mounted paintings), sculptures, metalwork, textiles, and ritual objects, all made for use in a Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhist context.......more from Chez Namaste Nancy

Bookmark and Share

Pin It

1 comment:

Jon Hoff said...

Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog! You have an interesting set of blogs. I have a plan to visit Bhutan in the next couple of years, it looks incredible!