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Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art

10 February 2012 - 22 July 2012

Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art showcases Buddhist works from the world-renowned Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art along with contemporary works by leading Asian and Asian American artists that draw inspiration from one of the world’s great religions. The exhibition, which will be on view for over three months, will inaugurate the new Asia Society Gallery (Former Magazine A), at the newly restored 19th century Explosives Magazine site.

Transforming Minds presents sublimely beautiful and deeply spiritual works of art, encompassing traditional and contemporary masterpieces from a mix of Asian cultures. The show asks the diverse local and international audiences visiting new Asia Society Gallery (Former Magazine A) at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine to consider the ways in which Buddhist art has changed over time and space. Although originating in India, Buddhism traveled across Asia and was transformed by local cultures. In recent times, a combination of individualism and an interest in Buddhist beliefs has had an impact on the artistic production of contemporary artists such as Montien Boonma, Zhang Huan, Mariko Mori and Michael Joo. Each of these four artists has a different approach to the theme of Buddhism, from conceptual and scientific to ritualistic and communal. Their works provide the audience with an opportunity to question preconceived ideas about Buddhism and to reconsider religious art and the artistic exploration of religion in contemporary contexts.

This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see examples of cultural adaptations and collective responses to Buddhism in pre-modern times, as well as individualized responses to Buddhism in contemporary artistic practice — a fitting subject as the shared futures of Asia and the United States continue to evolve.

Dr. Melissa Chiu is Asia Society's Vice President, Global Art Programs and Museum Director and is the Lead Curator of Transforming Minds: Buddhism in Art. Dr. Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society Museum, New York, and Dr. Miwako Tezuka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Asia Society Museum, New York are co-curators of the exhibition.

View a time-lapse video of the installation of Zhang Huan's "Long Island Buddha" sculpture:


A BBluesky Production. Director: Leslie Ng, Cinematographer: Fung Kai Shing, Music: Tommy Wai.


Presenting Sponsor

The Robert H.H. Ho Family Foundation

Corporate Sponsor

Bank of America Merrill Lynch



Opening Hours
Tuesday – Friday : 11am – 5pm
Public Holidays and Weekends: 10am - 5pm
Last Thursday of the month: 11am – 8pm
Closed Mondays

Adult HK$ 30
Asia Society members HK$ 15
Seniors (aged 60 or above) and individuals with disabilities HK$ 15
Free admission for full-time students and aged 18 or below

Docent tours
Docent tours will be available at the following times and days during the week and tours start at the Gallery Reception.

   English Tour  Cantonese Tour
Thu* 7:00 pm  
Fri 11:30 am 2:30 pm
Sat 11:30 am, 3:30 pm 12:30 pm**, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm
Sun 11:30 am, 12:30 pm**, 3:30 pm 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm

* Last Thursday of each month

** Special 30-minute walk-in docent tours for children

Plan Your Visit

9 Justice Drive
Hong Kong


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