Asian Art Museum storyteller, Jeff Byers, tells a story about the Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati in front of related artworks in the Asian Art Museum's collection.
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Students compare and contrast the different ways in which people commemorate the passing of a year by interviewing their families, creating a tablescape, and sharing their traditions with their classmates.
The term for puppetry, wayang, comes from the Indonesian word for shadow bayang. Wayang kulit, shadow puppetry using figures made from water buffalo hide, is considered to be the oldest freestanding puppet form; the earliest references to it date from the 800s.
Just as beautiful calligraphy is a reflection of a pure soul, the training to become a master Islamic calligrapher (hattats) symbolizes a religious pilgrimage. The pursuit to acquire exquisite penmanship brought one closer to spiritual perfection and to God. This is evident in the tradition of passing down knowledge from teacher to pupil. Following the structure set by the spiritual teaching of Sufism, it is appropriately called the “chain of transmission.” It is through this training process that individual styles have been preserved and may be traced back through the centuries from a long lineage of calligraphers.
Turkish calligraphers were skillful at transforming words and phrases into the shapes of animals. This was done by elongating, wrapping, and rotating letters to create the contour (outline) as well as details of the animal. Favorite animal shapes include the lion, peacock, and stork. Students will write a descriptive sentence about an animal that they believe has virtuous qualities. They will create a zoomorphic pen and ink drawing composed of this sentence.
Arjuna’s Meditation: An excerpt from the Mahabharata, performed by Shadowmaster I Wayan Nartha.
Buddhism was founded in northern India in the sixth century BCE. Most historians believe it was introduced to China in approximately the second century by means of monks and traders along the Silk Road.
Only in the past sixty years has “Southeast Asia” been used to refer to the region comprising modern-day Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. Learn more.
Students will create their own books and stamps, and can inscribe poetry or good wishes on each others books. They will then take their books with them on a pilgrimage to the Asian Art Museum, the Japanese tea garden, or the beach, and record their impressions.
Four seated musicians, approx. 700–750. China Tang dynasty (618–906). Earthenware. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60P316, B60P317, B60P3186, and B60P319.