Art treasures from Vietnam: Champa sculpture (Vth – XVth Centuries), Museum of Asian Art-Guimet, 12 October 2005 – 9 January 2006
This exhibition aims to introduce the general public to a major aspect of Vietnam’s artistic heritage, by bringing together the greatest collections of Cham art in the world: the collections of the Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh-Ville museums in Vietnam, and that of the Guimet museum. Added to these collections are sculptures preserved on the My Son site (in the province on Quang Nam), which has now been included in the list of 2World Heritage sites, as well as works kept at the Museum of Natural History/Guimet Museum in Lyon and the Reitberg Museum in Zurich.
This exhibition has been organised in a spirit of affirmative cultural collaboration between Vietnam and France, the Cham Museum of Da Nang and the Guimet museum.
In conjunction with this event, a restoration workshop for sculptures in the Cham Museum of Da Nang has been established. This workshop adds to the efforts Vietnam has made in recent years to restore, and raise the profile of, the country’s cultural heritage. Under the aegis of the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO), this workshop has already undertaken many restorations.
Strangely under-acknowledged, Champa art is in fact one of the major expressions of the ancient arts of South East Asia. Less well documents and protected that its Khmer cousin, this art form has given rise to works of originality and great sensitivity, amongst which the cultural heritage of ancient India has been totally assimilated. This essentially sacred art form reflects the religious concepts of Champa, oscillating between Buddhism and Brahmanism.
The great masterpieces will unfold the establishment and evolution of Cham sculpture from its origins – in about the 5th century – to its swan song – in the 15th century – before its gradual decline leading to the disappearance of Champa (19th century).
The principal Cham styles will be illustrated by a representative collection of stone and bronze sculptures, but also by a selection of plate and ritual objects made of precious metal, most of which (96 pieces) are being displayed for the first time.
The unique wealth of the Guimet museum’s photography collections about the ancient arts of Champa (the Charles Carpeaux collection) allows the main Cham sites to be evoked by high-quality prints going back to the beginning of the 20th Century.
For more information:
National Museum of Asian Art-Guimet
6, place d'Iéna
Information: +33 1 56 52 53 00
Reprinted from asiannouveau