Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum Becomes an “Awakening” Experience

At a time when  global epidemic concerns are keeping many Bay Area residents from visiting Asia, a new exhibition may be just the ticket.

This New Year, the Asian Art Museum invites visitors to slow down, look hard, and “wake up” from the ordinary world. Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment, on view through May 3, 2020, showcases how integral artistic endeavor is to Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practices, underscoring art’s power to focus and refine our awareness.

By immersing visitors in fantastic Buddhist landscapes of Tibetan Buddhism and introducing the enlightened beings that appear there, Awaken provides a taste of what awareness might be—if only we would wake up.

“A Tibetan Buddhist initiate’s journey toward enhanced awareness is, in part, facilitated through visualizations – and such visualizations always require artistic models,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Durham,

Associate Curator of Himalayan Art, Asian Art Museum and exhibition co-curator. “The landscapes of Himalayan Buddhism, along with the powerful entities that populate them, make for a dramatic visual repertoire unrivaled in the world of religious art, allowing the exhibition journey to culminate with a powerful moment of visual and spiritual clarity made manifest by a blend of art and experience.”