January 24, 2012

Art of Gandhara in Tricycle's Gallery

Images of art from Gandhara (modern day NW Pakistan and eastern Afghansitan) are now on display in Tricycle’s gallery. These images are pulled from a larger collection of art, published in a bound catalogue representing an exhibition held at the Asia Society Museum in New York City in 2011. The pieces were on loan from museums in the cities of Karachi  and Lahore, Pakistan.

The art of Gandhara is exciting and stunning, embodying a confluence of Vedic, Persian, Syrian, Hellenistic culture. Most of the art dealing with Buddhism came during the flourishing time of the Kushan people, around 1st C.E. During this time a large number of stupas were established, and a considerable portion of sculpture from Gandhara provided adornment for these temples.

Art historians have studied and commented on the similarities between Gandharan Buddhist art and the art of Hellenistic, Greco-Roman ideals. There is much to explore and learn about this art and about a culture so rich in 'cultures'. Please share your comments and impressions about the artwork  over in our gallery. What do you find most striking about the images ? Did you visit the Asian Society exhibit last year? Have you been to Lahore and seen Gandharan culture upclose?

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Dominic Gomez's picture

"Everything comes together here" wrote a NYTimes reviewer about this piece. Rather than the historical Buddha, the central figure may represent an entity that transcends all boundaries of time and space. A "what" rather than a "who". An eternal principle of truth and compassion that exists everywhere and within all beings.