Can refer to art amongst many cultures in Asia. Many modern Asian artists seek to blend ancient Asian themes with contemporary artistic styles. Contemporary Chinese artist Kong Bai Ji, who is one example of this trend, has long been regarded as one of the pioneers of China's contemporary art movement. He is credited with being the first Chinese artist to employ the use ofwestern-style oil paint on traditional Chinese rice paper, and he is well known for rendering images of Buddha in a highly modernized style. Kong Bai Ji's works are included in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, The China National Art Gallery in Beijing, The Shanghai Art Museum, Harvard University, The Soyanzi Art Museum in Tokyo, The Peace Museum inHokkaido, Japan, and the sacred Kimpusen-ji temple in Nara, Japan--a designated Japanese national treasure.
• Buddhist art
Originated on the Indian subcontinent following the historical life of Siddhartha Gautama, 6th to 5th century BCE, and thereafter evolved by contact with other cultures as it spread throughout Asia and the world.
Buddhist art followed believers as the dharmaspread, adapted, and evolved in each new host country. It developed to the north through Central Asia and into Eastern Asia to form the Northern branch of Buddhist art, and to the east as far as Southeast Asia to form the Southern branch of Buddhist art. In India, Buddhist art flourished and even influenced the development of Hindu art, until Buddhism nearly disappeared in India around the 10thcentury due in part to the vigorous expansion of Islam alongside Hinduism.
Northern Buddhist art
The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism to Central Asia, China and ultimately Korea and Japan started in the 1st century CE with a semi-legendary account of an embassy sent to the West by the Chinese Emperor Ming (58-75 CE). However, extensive contacts started in the 2nd century CE, probably as aconsequence of the expansion of the Kushan Empire into the Chinese territory of the Tarim Basin, with the missionary efforts of a great number of Central Asian Buddhist monks to Chinese lands. The first missionaries and translators of Buddhists scriptures into Chinese, such as Lokaksema, were either Parthian, Kushan, Sogdian or Kuchean.
Central Asian missionary efforts along the Silk Road wereaccompanied by a flux of artistic influences, visible in the development of Serindian art from the 2nd through the 11th century CE in the Tarim Basin, modern Xinjiang.
Serindian art often derives from the Greco-Buddhist art of the Gandhara district of what is now Pakistan, combining Indian, Greek and Roman influences. Silk Road Greco-Buddhist artistic influences can be found as faras Japan to this day, in architectural motifs, Buddhist imagery, and a select few representations of Japanese gods.
Central Asia long played the role of a meeting place between China, India and Persia. During the 2nd century BCE, the expansion of the Former Han to the West led to increased contact with the Hellenistic civilizations of Asia, especially the Greco-BactrianKingdom.
Thereafter, the expansion of Buddhism to the North led to the formation of Buddhist communities and even Buddhist kingdoms in the oasis of Central Asia. Some Silk Road cities consisted almost entirely of Buddhist stupas and monasteries, and it seems that one of their main objectives was to welcome and service travelers between East and West.
The eastern part of Central Asia(Chinese Turkestan (Tarim Basin, Xinjiang) in particular has revealed an extremely rich Serindian art (wall paintings and reliefs in numerous caves, portable paintings on canvas, sculpture, ritual objects), displaying multiple influences from Indian and Hellenistic cultures. Works of art reminiscent of the Gandharan style, as well as scriptures in the Gandhari script Kharoshti have been found. These...