Buddhist Myanmar Art Introduced for the First Time in Korea at Busan Museum

Busan Museum will hold the 2019 International Exchange Exhibition ‘Buddhism in Myanmar’ from November 19 to January 12, 2020.

In this exhibition, more than 110 carefully selected Buddhist artworks from Myanmar will be open to the public for the first time in Korea.

The international exchange exhibition was planned to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the opening and the hosting of the ASEAN-Korea Special Summit and the Korea-Mekong Summit scheduled for the end of this month.

Busan Museum has been investigating the materials of Myanmar’s local museums since 2017 and has been in close consultation with the Bureau of Archaeological and National Museum of Myanmar. As a result, it is now possible to bring works from 4 Myanmar National Museums (Yangon, Naypyidaw, Bagan, Sri Ksetla) and 110 Buddhist artifacts in the National Museum of Korea. 

This exhibition is the first to introduce Myanmar to Korea, so it is organized so that Buddhist history can be used to examine the history and culture of Myanmar.

In Chapter 1, The Dawn of the Eyawadi River, Twa and Mon, the archetypes of Myanmar Buddhist culture are highlighted through the ruins and relics of the Myan and Mon peoples.

Chapter 2, Plains of Gongdeok, Bagan, introduces the acceptance and development of the upper left Buddhism of Bagan, the first unified dynasty, and examines the aspects of Buddhist art that blossomed splendidly during this period.

Chapter 3, Times of Division and Unification, Creation and Extinction, deals with the changing aspects of Buddhist culture through the division, annihilation, and reunification of the dynasty.

Chapter 4, Buddhism in Everyday, introduces Buddhism in the last Buddhist Kingdom, Koo Baung, and Buddhist culture that blossomed in everyday life of Myanmar. 

Major relics include the excavation of Sri Ksetra, which confirms the existence of early Buddhist culture in Myanmar, including the birth of Buddha, Shaven of Siddhartha, Buddhist Buddhas, and Dorycheon.

There are also solo statues representing Buddha’s statues, such as Buddha, and relics that show the diversity and cultural hybrids of Myanmar Buddhism.

In particular, the solo sculpture containing the scene of the Buddha statue, which is the life of Buddha, is attracting attention because it is not easily accessible in Buddhist arts in Northeast Asia including Korea. 

This exhibition will be a great opportunity to meet Myanmar’s history, culture, and traditional Buddhist arts that have never been properly introduced in Korea.

In particular, it is the first exhibition to showcase the beautiful and high-quality Buddhist art, which is the essence of Myanmar culture, including the Nyphido National Museum, which is the first time exported from Myanmar on a  large scale.  

The opening ceremony will be held on November 18 at 4 pm in the lobby of the Busan Museum Busan Building on the 1st floor. 

Prior to the opening ceremony, a special lecture will be held at the Busan Museum Grand Auditorium. The ceremony will also show performances of Myanmar’s traditional culture. 

On December 13, an academic symposium on Buddhism in Myanmar is scheduled to be co-hosted with the Dong-A Research Institute of Sogang University.

The exhibition will be open until January 12, 2020.

Haps Staff
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