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Asian Civilisations Museum

Ancient Religions

Asian Civilisations Museum
Ancient Religions

The Ancient Religions Gallery traces the spread of religions from India to China, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. A thousand years of sculpture shows the change in art from early cults to international forms of Hinduism and Buddhism. The displays demonstrate how the cultures of Gandhara, Kushan, Tang China, and Srivijaya gave new expression to these systems of belief.

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The Scholar in Chinese Culture

Asian Civilisations Museum
Scholar's Studio

The scholar in Chinese culture

For centuries, the scholar represented an ideal in Chinese culture. Whether a civil servant, a successful merchant, or a wealthy overseas Chinese, the educated individual commanded great respect. True scholars, called literati, could read classical texts, write beautifully, paint well, play music, and pursued academic studies.

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A Space for Contemporary Art

Asian Civilisations Museum
Grains of Thought thumbimg

This gallery presents an opportunity to look at the Asian Civilisations Museum’s historical collection through the lens of contemporary art. Every two years, ACM will commission an artist to create a new work as a personal response to objects and themes found in the museum. Artists are encouraged to make art that comments on, critiques, explores, or expands aspects of the collection. The work will be made specifically for this gallery. 

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Tang Shipwreck

Asian Civilisations Museum
Tang Shipwreck

In 1998, a shipwreck was discovered off Belitung Island in the Java Sea. It contained a remarkable cargo of more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907), as well as luxurious objects of gold and silver. Bound for Iran and Iraq, the ship provides early proof for strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

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Chinese Ceramics

Asian Civilisations Museum
Chrysanthemum dish

Chinese Ceramics, from objects made for ritual burial in tombs to wares destined for the emperor’s dining table, will be displayed in this gallery. The objects inspire stories of how they were made, used, traded, and valued in the history of China. A special display will show the creamy white porcelain made in the Dehua kilns in Fujian province, which was highly coveted by Europeans and others outside of China. The ACM has one of the finest collections of these largely figural porcelain wares.

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