Sacred Landscapes in Asia : Shared Traditions, Multiple Histories

Edited by Himanshu Prabha Ray, Manohar, 2007, xii, 396 p, tables, figs, ISBN : 817304726X, $55.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Sacred Landscapes in Asia : Shared Traditions, Multiple Histories/edited by Himanshu Prabha Ray

Contents: Preface/Kapila Vatsyayan. 1. Introduction/Himanshu Prabha Ray. 2. Aesthetic theories underlying Asian performing arts/Kapila Vatsyayan. I. Monuments: Multilayered Histories: 3. Sunya: immanent and transcendent: investigating meanings of void through art's space/Sung-Min Kim. 4. The Stupa: symbolizing religious architecture in Asia/Himanshu Prabha Ray. 5. Merchants, Ghazis, and the inception of an 'Islamic' architecture in South Asia/Alka Patel. 6. Marks and symbols of professionals on Mughal monuments/Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi. 7. Spatial organization of Paharpur Buddhist establishment/Sandrine Gill. 8. A study of living culture: Typo-Morphology of vernacular traditional Houses in Kerala/Indah Widiastuti. II. Motifs: Multiple Expressions: 9. Avalokitesvara as continuing Theogony of interiorization/Lokesh Chandra. 10. The flying messenger/Kapila Vatsyayan. 11. The Saiva Pantheon in Indonesia: Acculturation/Assimilation/Convergence?/Nilima Chitgopekar. 12. Kala-Makara-Toranas: Javanese expressions of a shared motif/Parul Pandya Dhar. III. Narratives: Meanings and ralization: 13. Questioning narrativity and inscribed labels: Bhuddhist Bharhut, Sannati and Borobudur/Vidya Dehejia. 14. Understanding the painted Jatakas in ancient India and Sri Lanka/M. Somathilake. 15. Crown Jewels of Buddhist Art: comparisons between Ajanta and Dunhuang/Chang Wen-Ling. 16. A system of knowledge transmission: the narrative in Indonesia (c. AD 700-900)/Malini Saran. 17. A comparative study of the Wayang Kulit and the Tolpavakoothu Shadow Puppet Theatre/I. Nyoman Sedana. Index.

"Throughout history the peoples of Asia have been known for their mobility and interactions. The notion of territorially defined nations is historically recent. There was a continuing dialogue between Asian cultures which functioned at both the spatial and the temporal level, propelled by the movement of the great religions of Asia across continents via trading communities, clergies, Buddhist and Sufi scholars and communities of artisans.

The present volume explores the aesthetic theories underlying many genres of the Asian arts. These characterize the dialogue between and amongst different Asian regions. The same Asian notions of space and time are manifested in architectural form as also in a wide variety of visual arts. The contributors in this volume identify the multi-layered discourse comprising the nature of monuments, as also the movement of motifs and symbols through sculptured and picturised representation. Some essays focus on fundamental notions such as Sunyata as common to the India, Korean and other Asian countries Also, the papers bear testimony to the phenomena of dialogue and distinctiveness, continuity and change. This is evident in architectural structures sculptural forms, particularly in iconography and of course in the performing arts.

The IIC-Asia Project in its second phase has, with purpose, traced the trajectory of transmission systems in Asian civilization in different domains and at different levels, be it the vertical transmission from generation to generation in education, or the artistic transmission and diffusion through the arts. This volume will add to the meager literature that exists on the subject and will stimulate further research and study." (jacket) 

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