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Volume 44 – Number 4

May 2013


Tipu Sultan's Murals
Comprehending Indian Composite Paintings
'Dunhuang: Buddhist Art at the Gateway of the Silk Road' at China Institute Gallery
Pure Land: Inside the Mogao Grottoes - ALiVE's Digital Recreation of Cave 220
The Art of Sopheap Pich at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
East Asian Galleries at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Chinese Export Paintings of Tartary at the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden

Cover: Buddha 2
By Sopheap Pich (b. 1971), 2009
Rattan, wire and dye
Height 254 cm, width 73.7 cm, depth 22.9 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art, 2012

Articles in our May issue cover art from across the breadth of Asia, beginning in India, traversing the ancient trade route of the Silk Road, and ending in China, Japan and Korea. Rob Linrothe considers what the east wall murals of Tipu Sultan’s palace in Karnataka reveal about 18th century Indian society. Rachel Parikh shares her research into Indian composite painting that started with her identification of Shiva in a recently discovered image. Marking ‘The Year of Dunhuang’ at China Institute is an exhibition featuring re-creations of Caves 432 and 45. Susan Beningson guides us on a ‘virtual pilgrimage’ through the caves and the artworks on view. Taking another approach to this concept, Sarah Kenderdine introduces two digital visualizations of Dunhuang’s Cave 220, made possible by technology developed by ALiVE at CityU Hong Kong. Contemporary bamboo and rattan sculpture of Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich, on view at the Met, is the focus of John Guy’s article. Meanwhile, Li Jian introduces highlights from the newly reinstalled East Asian galleries at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, some on permanent display for the first time. Rosalien van der Poel presents her findings on a group of Chinese export paintings depicting winter views in Tartary, from the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden.

In other features, Joyce Beckenstein interviews Robert Oxnam, former director of Asia Society, and in her commentary, Joanie Meharry reflects on the challenges faced in building a new national museum in Afghanistan.

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