Current News

The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas (at the National Museum of Asian Art, Wash. DC, ongoing)

May 23rd, 2024

The Art of Knowing brings together highlights from our collections to explore religious and practical knowledge across time, space, and cultures. Featuring stone sculptures, gilt bronzes, and painted manuscripts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, this exhibition illuminates the critical role of visual culture in conveying Buddhist and Hindu teachings from the ninth to the twentieth centuries. From Ganesha, the god of beginnings, to goddesses who personify wisdom, the artworks on view tell individual stories and reveal ways of knowing our world. The Art of Knowing asks how artists and objects shape wisdom traditions. How do shared images and... More

Do Ho Suh: Public Figures (Contemporary Korean art exhibition at the National Museum of Asian Art, Washington DC, April 27, 2024–April 29, 2029)

May 23rd, 2024

To usher in the next century of the National Museum of Asian Art, artist Do Ho Suh (b. 1962, South Korea) was commissioned to create a special edition of his work Public Figures to be installed in front of the museum and facing the National Mall in Washington, DC. Internationally recognized for his large-scale installations, Suh was among the earliest contemporary artists featured in the museum’s groundbreaking Pavilion exhibition series and his work will be the first new sculpture to be installed outside the historic Freer Gallery of Art in over three decades. As an artist living and working between his familial roots in South Korea... More

Shan Shui Reboot: Re-envisioning Landscape for a Changing World (at the China Institute, NYC, until July 7, 2024)

May 23rd, 2024

“Shan Shui Reboot” presents visually spectacular and thought-provoking creations by seven young artists born between 1974 and 1992. China Institute Gallery will present a special spring exhibition, Shan Shui Reboot: Re-Envisioning Landscape for a Changing World, on view from March 7 through July 7, 2024. The exhibition highlights a new generation of artists who are reinterpreting traditional Chinese landscape painting in the context of today’s global social issues and climate crisis. Shan shui refers to the time-honored painting of natural landscapes with brush and ink focused on an awareness of inner spiritual philosophy. The exhibition features the recent work of seven... More

Heaven and Earth: The Blue Maps of China (at the Leventhal Map & Education Center, Boston Public Library, opening in May 2024)

February 23rd, 2024

The next exhibition at the Leventhal Center, opening in May 2024, takes a close look at an extraordinary pair of maps from early nineteenth-century China. This exhibition, Heaven and Earth: The Blue Maps of China, will draw viewers into conversations about Chinese material culture, the circulation of printing techniques around the world, and the different perspectives on space and place that emerge from different intellectual traditions. Click here to read an interview with Dr. Richard Pegg, the guest curator of Heaven and Earth, about these extraordinary maps 大清萬年一統地理全圖 Daqing wannian yitong dili quantu; Complete map of the geography of the everlasting, More

Occasional Papers on Asia No. 6: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at Ten: The World According to China, and China According to the World, by Rebin Najmalddin (Pardee School, Boston University)

February 19th, 2024

We are pleased to present the latest volume in our BUCSA series, Occasional Papers on Asia. In this volume, Rebin Najmalddin (Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University) provides an excellent summary of the presentations and panel discussions from the October 12-13, 2023 conference, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at Ten: The World According to China, and China According to the World, co-organized by Grant Rhode (Pardee School, Boston University) and Andrew Wilson (US Naval War College).   You can read this new Occasional Papers here and you can read more about the series of past presentations and conferences around the topic... More

“Hallyu! The Korean Wave” exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, opens March 24, 2024

January 31st, 2024

From tradition to trendsetting Today, South Korea is a cultural superpower—a global trendsetter producing award-winning films like Parasite, riveting dramas like Squid Game, and chart-topping music by K-pop groups such as BTS and BLACKPINK. But behind the country’s meteoric rise to the world stage—a phenomenon known as the Korean Wave, or hallyu—is the story of remarkable resilience and innovation. Just a century ago, Korea was in search of a new national identity, following its occupation by Japan and the Korean War. Harnessing cutting-edge technology, the country has rapidly transformed its economy and international reputation. At the same time, its creative outputs are deeply rooted... More

New exhibition “Performance and Court in Indonesia” showcases Indonesian shadow puppets (Yale Art Gallery, New Haven)

January 18th, 2024

“Performance and Court in Indonesia” is a new display for the Yale Art Gallery's Indo-Pacific department featuring Indonesian shadow puppets (“wayang kulit”) from the Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection. At the center of the gallery is a screen where a selection of puppets depicts scenes from the Indic epic “Mahabharata,” which is popular in Javanese performances. Currently on view is a scene from the play “Irawan Rabi” (Irawan’s Wedding). Arjuna, shown at left, is accompanied by his two wives, Sumbadra and Srikandhi. They have come to tell Abimanyu, Arjuna and Sumbadra’s son, that he cannot marry his beloved... More

Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, June 21- Nov. 13, 2023)

May 18th, 2023

This is the story of the origins of Buddhist art. The religious landscape of ancient India was transformed by the teachings of the Buddha, which in turn inspired art devoted to expressing his message. Sublime imagery adorned the most ancient monumental religious structures in ancient India, known as stupas. The stupa not only housed the relics of the Buddha but also honored him through symbolic representations and visual storytelling. Original relics and reliquaries are at the heart of this exhibition, which culminates with the Buddha image itself. Featuring more than 140 objects dating from 200 BCE to 400 CE, the exhibition... More

What’s Behind the Boom in Christianity in China? A Conversation with Eugenio Menegon and Daryl Ireland

March 6th, 2023

(From The Brink: Pioneering Research at Boston University) What’s behind Boom of Christianity in China? Theology scholars and a global network of researchers are using big data to map religion’s history in China and explain its rapid growth FEBRUARY 2, 2023 by MARC CHALUFOUR , photo by CYDNEY SCOTT From Over the past four decades, Christianity has grown faster in China than anywhere else in the world. Daryl Ireland, a Boston University School of Theology research assistant professor of mission, estimates that the Christian community there has grown from 1 million to 100 million. What led to that explosion, centuries after the first Christian missionaries arrived... More