A PASSAGE THROUGH ASIA. Ancient art from Southern and Eastern Asia
Echoing the famous novel of Edward Morgan Forster, this voyage through the ancient cultures of Asia will begin on the shores of the Indus Valley civilization, which flourished in the middle of the third millenium before Christ, accross northwestern India and Pakistan. Discovered only in the very first decades of the twentieth century, the cities of Harrapa and Mohenjo-daro revealed an extraordinarly developed society, complex and well established, with social classes, craft and writings, as well as long distance-trade with Mesopotamia and Central Asia. The numerous terracotta idols and decorated ceramics are the most important testimonies of this culture, and we will show several remarkable examples in this exhibition. As a key period in the history of mankind, and particularly of this region, the Indus civilization gives us some clues to decipher the later cultural development in the Indian subcontinent. This will lead our journey into the Middle Ages with a group of stone sculptures, of which a spectacular Vyala in the round. Further north, we will cross the Himalaya and encounter the Ordos horsemen of Northern China and inner Mongolia, with a selection of bronze ornaments including several magnificient gilded examples. Our itinerary throughout Asia will end with a prime choice of newly rediscovered bronze objects from the Dong Son period. I do hope this broad selection of museum quality artifacts from diverse times and cultures will excite the curiosity of Asiaphiles, and arouse interest for the exploration of different, and sometimes neglicted, fields of art.