Buddhist philosophy and art of Central Asia connects Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries to each other. M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India and Chair of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (SCO CHG) in 2020, launched the first ever SCO Online Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage, during the 19th Meeting of the SCO CHG, held today in New Delhi, in videoconference format.
This SCO online International exhibition, the first ever of its kind online International exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage, offers a glimpse of the artistic wealth displayed in various museums across Asia, and represents the artistic excellence embedded within an eclectic historical timeline spanning across the development of different Schools of Buddhism.
The participating institutions are National Museum (New Delhi), Indian Museum (Kolkata), National Museum of Kazakhstan, Dun Huang Academy (China), National Historical Museum of the Kyrgyz Republic, Museums of Pakistan, State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow (Russia), National Museum and National Museum of Antiquities, Tajikistan and renowned archaeological sites of Uzbekistan.
The visitors can explore the Indian Buddhist treasures from the Gandhara and Mathura Schools, Nalanda, Amaravati, Sarnath in a 3D virtual format.
The Pakistan hall depicts the life of Gautama Buddha and Buddhist Art through a collection of impressive Gandhara art objects from Karachi, Lahore, Taxila, Islamabad, SWAT and Peshawar museums. These include fasting Siddhartha and footprint of Buddha from Sikri, meditating Buddha from Sahri Bahloi, and miracle of Sravasti from Gandhara.
Over 100 objects from State Oriental Art Museum, Moscow, depict the Buddhist Buriyat Art of Russia through icons, ritual objects, monastery traditions etc. The Dunhuang Academy of China contributed a rich digital collection on Buddhist Art from Dunhunag that include ingenious architecture, resplendent murals, decorative designs, and costumes.
The marvels of Buddhist art from ancient Termez, Karatepa, Fayaztepa heritage sites can be seen in the Uzbekistan hall. The exhibition also showcases rare Buddhist art objects from various heritage sites and museums of Kazakhstan and Kyrygstan. The prime attraction of Tajikistan hall is the 13 meter long reclining – ‘Buddha in Nirvana’ from Ajina-Tepa.
The exhibition presents an opportunity for visitors to access, appreciate and compare Buddhist art antiquities from SCO countries on a single platform and from the comfort of their home. It is developed and curated by National Museum, New Delhi, in active collaboration with SCO member countries. The exhibition deploys state of the art technologies like 3D scanning, webGL platform, virtual space utilization, innovative curation and narration methodology.
The exhibition can be accessed at https://nmvirtual.in/ for worldwide viewing.
– globalbihari bureau