Asian Galleries


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Jinas with Family and Goddess Ambika, 950-1050

Photograph Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts, which last year debuted its new Japan Gallery, will introduce the Asian Galleries in November featuring Chinese, Korean, South and Southeast Asian art, as well as Buddhist art from across Asia.

The new Asian Galleries, scheduled to open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 4, will be preceded by the DIA Gala the night before. The multi-room display will feature recent acquisitions of contemporary art paired with historical paintings, ancient objects centered on life and the afterlife, textiles, and sculptures. Visitors also can leave their mark on a digital hand scroll.

The Korean gallery explores the dynamic relationship many Korean works of art have to the ideal of harmony, highlighting both historical works and contemporary artists.

In the gallery for South and Southeast Asian art, visitors are invited to consider Hindu sculptures in their original context. Visitors will also see art of the Jain religion and Southeast Asian textiles. In another section, Indian paintings are displayed alongside a sound station, encouraging visitors to explore how music impacts their emotional responses to visual art.

The works on display in the gallery for Buddhist art span centuries and were made for diverse Buddhist traditions across Asia. Uniting the works supports the path toward enlightenment, a core principal and goal of the Buddhist religion.

“Our goal with the opening of the Japan Gallery and the upcoming opening of the Asian Galleries is part of our overall effort to reach out to our community and celebrate all of the cultures from around the world,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA.

The Japan Gallery features a tokonoma, an alcove in Japanese homes and teahouses where treasured items are displayed. In an interactive tea table developed for the gallery, a digital host guides museum visitors through an experience that includes handling a 3-D printed tea bowl.

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