Video: A Celebrated Birth Carved in Sandstone Makes Its Way From Myanmar

Nearly 70 artworks from Myanmar and private and public collections around the United States make up Asia Society Museum's new exhibition Buddhist Art of Myanmar. Featuring textiles, paintings, ritual objects, and sculptures made of sandstone, bronze, and lacquered wood, dating from the fifth to the early twentieth century, the exhibition gives viewers an opportunity to encounter many pieces that have never been seen outside Myanmar before.

Among the pieces that have made their way to the United States from Myanmar is Birth of the Buddha, a sandstone sculpture on loan from the Bagan Archeological Museum that dates from the late twelfth century CE. In the video above, Donald M. Stadtner, one of the exhibition's guest curators, gives viewers an in-depth look at the sculpture's intricate details and explains the significance of the depicted characters, including the central figures of the Buddha's mother Queen Maya and her sister Prajapati, as well as the smaller deities and mortals inhabiting the margins.

Buddhist Art of Myanmar is on view through May 10, 2015, at Asia Society Museum in New York City.

About the Author

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Tahiat Mahboob is Asia Society's Senior Multimedia Producer. She grew up in Bangladesh, worked at New York Fashion Week and taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.