Friday, January 20, 2012

Transforming Minds

Asia Society Hong Kong Center: Inaugural Exhibition – Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art

Asia Society Hong Kong Center — The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine Opens to Public in February 2012

PR Newswire

HONG KONG, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — February 9, 2012 will mark the transformation of four former British military buildings in Admiralty into a cultural and educational hub by Asia Society Hong Kong (ASHK) Center, the premier provider of educational and cultural programs for 20 years. This heritage site, located at 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, is revitalized with funds generously donated by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and other donors. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine houses the new ASHK Center.

From the Asia Society’s website:

Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art
10 February 2012 – 20 May 2012

Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art showcases Buddhist works from the world-renowned Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art along with contemporary works by leading Asian and Asian American artists that draw inspiration from one of the world’s great religions. The exhibition, which will be on view for over three months, will inaugurate the new Asia Society Gallery (Former Magazine A), at the newly restored 19th century Explosives Magazine site.

Transforming Minds presents sublimely beautiful and deeply spiritual works of art, encompassing traditional and contemporary masterpieces from a mix of Asian cultures. The show asks the diverse local and international audiences visiting new Asia Society Gallery (Former Magazine A) at The Hong Kong Jockey 妥Club Former Explosives Magazine to consider the ways in which Buddhist art has changed over time and space. Although originating in India, Buddhism traveled across Asia and was transformed by local cultures. In recent times, a combination of individualism and an interest in Buddhist beliefs has had an impact on the artistic production of contemporary artists such as Montien Boonma, Zhang Huan, Mariko Mori and Michael Joo. Each of these four artists has a different approach to the theme of Buddhism, from conceptual and scientific to ritualistic and communal. Their works provide the audience with an opportunity to question preconceived ideas about Buddhism and to reconsider religious art and the artistic exploration of religion in contemporary contexts.

This exhibition is a rare opportunity 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—a fitting subject as the shared futures of Asia and the United States continue to evolve.

Dr. Melissa Chiu is Asia Society’s Vice President, Global Art Programs and Museum Director and is the Lead Curator of Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art. Dr. Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society Museum, New York, and Dr. Miwako Tezuka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Asia Society Museum, New York are co-curators of the exhibition.


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