Follow Us on Twitter

Images and Sacred Texts - Buddhism across Asia

Amitabha, the wisdom Buddha. China, 1600-1700 (detail)

Exhibition preview

IMAGES and Sacred Texts – Buddhism across Asia, an exhibition of sacred texts, painted scrolls and sculptures from Sri Lanka to Japan, is on display at the British Museum until April 3, 2011.

The exhibition features depictions of the ‘three gems’ from across Asia. The ‘three gems’ consist of the Buddha himself, his teachings (dharma), and the Buddhist community (sangha).

Despite regional variations, the ‘three gems’ show remarkable similarities, sometimes across hundreds of years.

The objects on display include exquisite gold sculptures and paintings of the Buddha, beautiful Buddhist texts on palm leaf and paper, and a selection of images of Buddhist monk.

These objects come from across the whole of Asian, including Mongolia, India, Tibet, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea and Japan and date from the 1st and 2nd century AD to the 20th century.

Many of the objects have never been on display before, making this a unique opportunity to view rarely-seen items from the British Museum’s collection. Due to the fragility of the paintings, some items in the display will be changed halfway through the exhibition run.

The exhibition provides an insight into the key elements which hold the Buddhist world together in Asia and, now that Buddhism is a worldwide faith, across the world as a whole.

Admission: Free.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG