Mirroring Devotion

One of the things I love about religious art is the occasional blurring of the line between an object intended to inspire devotion and the depiction of devotion itself.  This happens in pretty much all religious traditions, but for whatever reason it struck me recently at "Buddhist Art of Myanmar," currently on view at the Asia Society Museum … Continue reading Mirroring Devotion

Peering inside Myanmar’s earliest stupas

This time-worn cover of a relic chamber is another mesmerizing work on display At the Met in "Lost Kingdoms."   It was found inside a stupa at Sri Ksetra, a 1,500-year old site we visited in 2012.  It is in ruinous state, so much so the World Monuments Fund added it to its endangered list.  But it has … Continue reading Peering inside Myanmar’s earliest stupas

Of petition, prayer and poetry

A while back, my brother-in-law saw a photograph I had taken in China and asked to see more.  Now what you need to know about Robert Lawrence, aka Bob, is that he writes poetry and plays, translates ancient Greek and delves into theology--on his own, art for art's sake.  When he mentioned that some of … Continue reading Of petition, prayer and poetry

what looters left behind

Visiting sites in Mrauk U in northwest Myanmar  is seeing what the looters left behind -- well,   looters and archaeologists, since many of the statues have been safely removed to museums around the country.  There are headless torsos and faceless heads (some replaced with cement substitutes), severed arms and dismantled statues, gaping niches and … Continue reading what looters left behind