Cynthea J. Bogel
ART H 315
Buddhist painting and sculpture of China, Korea, and Japan. Explores religious meaning, artistic development, and historical significance. Examples from the sixth to the seventeenth centuries, along with paintings and contemporary carvings.
SUMMER 2009: EMPHASIS ON JAPAN and its neighbors. This course features a comparative and contextual study of Buddhist icons and temples. In Japan, Buddhist art blends with Shinto beliefs; in China, with Daoist beliefs; in Korea, with shamanism. All these will be considered. The course emphasizes the ritual use of icons and why they were created for particular temples. It will examine Buddhist and mixed-Buddhist forms, including painting and sculpture; temple architecture, plans, and gardens; ritual or decorative implements and furnishings; reliquaries; and priestly possessions. If schedules allow we will visit a Seattle monastery! Each year the course will featue a particular culture/country or theme: Korea, China, Japan, Silk Road, Esoteric Buddhist visual culture, the art of the Lotus Sutra, gardens, etc.. For summer 2009 the emphasis is Japan, including comparisons with Chinese, Korean and Indian Buddhist art. The professor has over 30 years of study in Japan and the US in the area of Japanese Buddhist visual culture.
Student learning goals
Analyze the appearance and iconography of a Buddhist icon, including Buddhist meanings
Recognize differences in materials, date, and culture among Buddhist statues and paintings
Understand the function of icons and other ritual goods in Buddhist practice
A general knowledge of Japanese culture and history, and its relationship to China and Korea in ancient times
The role of Buddhism in ancient Asia and the importance of visual culture to a "philosophy" of Buddhism
The study of actual Buddhist icons in the museum and in private collections.
General method of instruction
Lecture, discussion of readings and images, and museum or temple visits.
NO PREREQUISITES. Some familiarity with East Asian arts, history, culture, or Buddhism is recommended. An open mind about foreign culture and religion. Willingness to learn foreign terms and ideas.
Class assignments and grading
Short writing assignments, exams, short presentations
writing assignments, exams, discussion