| exhibitions

May 10th – October 16th 2007
The Rubin Museum of Art (RMA), New York


The sacred mountain Wutaishan, located in Shanxi Province, China, is believed to be the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, and for a thousand years it has been a focus of transnational pilgrimage for the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongols, and Manchus alike. This multi-culturalism, endemic of Himalayan art, is reflected in the objects in the exhibition coming from Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, and China, including paintings, sculptures, masks, book covers and features a six-foot wide woodblock print, a panoramic view of Mount Wutai filled with temples and miraculous visions. As Manjushri was seen as the patron deity of China, Wutaishan was also a focus of imperial attention, and rulers tied their own legitimacy to this deity and promoted his cult at Mount Wutai, blurring and intertwining religious, state, ethnic, and even artistic identity.

Wutaishan: Pilgrimage to Five Peak Mountain is the first exhibition of its kind: combining historical and visual materials related to Wutaishan in a multidisciplinary approach, highlighting the period when the mountain reached a peak of cultural confluence in the 18th and 19th centuries. As Wutaishan is located in China, this exhibition clearly demonstrates that the importance of Himalayan art extends well outside the traditionally narrow confines of the geographic Himalayas.

As a unique feature of the exhibition, an interactive map of Wutaishan charts pilgrimage sites, and links them to historical explanations, photographs of the places depicted, as well as related objects in the exhibition:

Click here to use the interactive map


(click on the small image for full screen image with captions.)
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