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Medieval Castle Rebuilt with Medieval Technology

Coming Exhibition: Loving Devotion: Enter the Mandala

“Enter the Mandala”

Asia

“Taima Mandala” (1300s – 1400s)

Who:  Asian Art Museum

When: Mar. 14, 2014 – Oct. 26, 2014 (Tues-Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m. – 9 pm.)

Where: 

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA

How Much:  

  • Adults ~ $15
  • Seniors, Students, Youth ~ $10

More Information: Here.

“Mandalas are maps of Buddhist visionary worlds.

Minutely detailed and saturated with philosophical meaning, these works (most often paintings or sculptures) are a feast for the eyes and the mind—nested squares and circles are arrayed to represent the center of the cosmos and the four cardinal directions. For Buddhist practitioners, however, mandalas are not just images to view, but worlds to enter—after recreating the image in their mind’s eye, meditators imaginatively enter its realm.But is it possible to have this experience without years of meditative discipline?  

Enter the Mandala
says yes. In this exhibition, 14th-century paintings align a gallery with the cardinal directions, transforming open space into an architectural mandala—a chance to experience the images in three dimensions, to dwell in the midst of the cosmic symbols and be transported to another world. Visitors can literally “enter the mandala,” exploring places in the cosmos—and perhaps themselves—that might otherwise remain invisible. “

“Over 1,000 Ancient Buddha Statues Uncovered in China”

“Over 1,000 Ancient Buddha Statues Uncovered in China”

by April Holloway via “Epoch Times

“Archaeologists have discovered more than 1,000 ancient Buddha statues in three stone caves on a cliff-face in Yangqu County, in north China’s Shanxi Province, according to a report in China.org.cn. Although official dating has not yet been carried out, it is believed that the statues date back to the Ming Dynasty.

The Ming dynasty, was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years (1368–1644 AD) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history”, was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. The creation of stone Buddha statues reached its peak during the period from the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589) to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), so it is rare to find stone Buddha statues from the Ming Dynasty.

According to traditional accounts, Buddhism was introduced in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) after an emperor dreamed of a flying golden man thought to be the Buddha. Although the archaeological record confirms that Buddhism was introduced sometime during the Han dynasty, it did not flourish in China until the Six Dynasties period (220-589 AD). The year 67 CE saw Buddhism’s official introduction to China with the coming of the two monks Moton and Chufarlan.

The latest finding including stone statues carved into the cave walls and measuring 12 to 25 centimetres long, said Yang Jifu, director of the county’s cultural heritage tourism bureau. Yang said two of the caves had been restored in the Ming Dynasty, according to the record on two steles in the caves. . . . .”

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Art in Architecture: Salamanca Cathedrals

There are two famous cathedrals in Salamanca, Spain–the first is the old portion first built in the 12th century and  renovated in the 14th century.  Within are dozens of antique works of art depicted throughout the tower.  

This smaller tower was then built on out in the 16th and 18th centuries into the New Cathedrals that still stand there today.  Because the Cathedrals were built and renovated so many times, they reflect centuries of architectural styles and are an amalgam artistic history. 

by Laurenz Bobke