Myanmar Buddhist art is the first Western exhibition focuses on works of art from collections in Myanmar. The exhibition consists of 70 works, including the spectacular stone, bronze and wood sculptures, textiles, paints, varnishes and ritual instruments of the fifth to the twentieth century. His works include objects created for temples, monasteries and personal devotion, which are presented in their historical and ritual contexts. The exhibition explores how the Buddhist story visually communicates and multiplicity of regional styles. Many of the works in the exhibition have not been shown outside Myanmar. The works are on loan from the National Museum of Myanmar in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw; Bagan Archaeological Museum; Archaeological museum and Sri Ksetra, Hmawza well as works from public and private collections in the United States.
Myanmar, also officially known in English as “Burma” in the period of British control until 1989, is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Today, the nation is home to more than a hundred officially recognized ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive way of life, language, and adhesion to a variety of belief systems. Although almost ninety percent of the people of Myanmar themselves as Buddhists, the country is also home to many Christians, Hindus, Muslims and animists.
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Buddhism in Myanmar was established around 500 CE or half of the first millennium, centuries after Buddha’s death in India. Faith was probably led by the monks of Myanmar and Indian traders during their interactions with local kingdoms. Lower Myanmar was then in the hands of the Sun, while the north of Myanmar has been ruled by the Pyu. These two ethnic groups were overshadowed by the Bamar peoples talks that had begun to infiltrate northern Myanmar at the beginning of the second millennium. The capital created Bamar overlooking the Irrawaddy River Pagan, or Bagan, where a Buddhist devotional frenzy led to the construction of temples more than two thousand bricks, stupas and monasteries. While the art of Bagan was a strong and undeniable India that debt, sculptors, painters and architects forged a distinctive aesthetic, which in the following centuries parted full of pigs.
Locally developed Buddhist legends in Myanmar, reflecting indigenous interpretations of Buddhist texts brought from South Asia. A number of ancient Buddhist stories describing Myanmar Buddha visits to the kingdoms of Myanmar. In these stories, the relics of the Buddha gives hair iron at the feet of the stone to create what is known as living relics, which have been under continuous worship in Myanmar. In fact, the Buddha never ventured beyond India, but relics of stories included in many temples and stupas of Myanmar, as well as sculptures and objects controlled by donors. The objects that make up this exhibition, formerly in the service of temples, stupas and monasteries embody a long tradition in which myth and history blend perfectly.
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