Fri, Dec 07, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Exhibition displays Southern Buddhism at Yonghe museum

By Weng Yu-huang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Souther Buddhism statues and artifacts are displayed at the Museum of World Religions in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District on Tuesday.

Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Taipei Times

A special exhibition on Southern Buddhism opened at the Museum of World Religions in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) to mark its 17th anniversary.

When Buddhist Master Hsin Tao (心道) founded the museum, he was given nearly 100 Southern Buddhist artifacts by Buddhist Master Yuan Kuang (遠光), who had been living in the Philippines, museum curator Chen Guo-ning (陳國寧) said on Tuesday.

As Buddhism spread from India, it developed distinct geographical branches, with Northern Buddhism prevalent in the Yellow and Yangtze rivers area of China, and Southern Buddhism in the tributaries of the Mekong, Chao Phraya and Salween rivers area of Indochina, exhibition planner Chung Wei-kai (鍾偉愷) said.

Southern Buddhism preserved more of the original teachings and organizational structures from the time of Gautama Buddha — on whose teachings the religion was founded, Chung said.

The exhibition highlights the history, culture and spiritual practices of Southern Buddhism to contextualize the artifacts on display, including statutes of Buddha and gods, as well as ritual vessels and holy books, he said.

Films, maps and recreations of scenes from religious festivals have been prepared for visitors to the museum, he said.

Artistic and visual portrayals of Buddha have changed over the years, which is illustrated by the statutes of Buddha from the Pagan Kingdom in what is now Myanmar, as well as the Shan people and the Mandalay period in the exhibition, he said.

The exhibition runs through April 21.

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