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01a Burmese Art Seminar - Lugano 20 VII 2012 (3)

01a Burmese Art Seminar - Lugano 20 VII 2012 (3)

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Published by Phyo Win Latt

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Published by: Phyo Win Latt on Jul 17, 2012
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 Via Cortivo 24/28, 6976 Lugano, Svizzera;Tel. +41.(0)58.866.6960; Fax +41.(0)58.866.6969; skypename
; e-mail
Page 1/11
TREASURES FROM THE GOLDEN LANDSeminar on Burmese Art and CultureLugano, Heleneum, 20.VII. 2012
1. The seminarOn Friday, the 20
of July 2012
, from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., the
Museo delleCulture of Lugano
will hold a seminar on Burmese art and culture in itsConference Room at the Heleneum (via Cortivo 24/26).The seminar has a twofold aim. Firstly, to analyze and deepen the meanings, values andfunctions of some works of art that are particularly representative of the Burmese art inboth its sacred and profane dimensions; secondly, to offer a reflection on the place that isnowadays occupied by the Burmese art, within the larger context of collecting Oriental artand of modern museography.The seminar will be
open to the public
, held
in English
and opened by
Giovanna Masoni Brenni
, head of the Department of Cultural Activities of the City of Lugano. Sixscholars of Burmese studies are participating with their contributions:
Bénédicte Brac dela Perrière
(Center of Southeast Asia Studies, Paris),
 Alexandra de Mersan
(Center of Southeast Asia Studies, Paris),
 Alexandra Green
(British Museum, London),
(Center for Burma Studies, Northern Illinois University),
(Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Solidarités, Sociétés, Territoires, LISSAT,Toulouse). The lectures will be followed by a 
discussion open to the public
 Adriana Mazza 
, head of the MCL Higher Education and Institutional Relations Dept.The seminar is directed by
Céline Coderey,
who is responsible for the South East Asianresearch projects of the MCL, and is also a collaborator at the Institut de Recherches Asiatiques (IrAsia) in Marseille and at the Center of Southeast Asia Studies in Paris.The seminar is organized by the MCL and is inscribed within the broader context of itshigher education and research activities as a scientific preparation for the
temporaryexhibition «Dana. L’arte birmana del dono»
 Dana. The Art of Gift
] organized bythe MCL from the 10
of October 2013 to the 9
of March 2014 (Heleneum). The papersof the seminar’s contributions will be published in the exhibition catalogue.The project is supported by the
«Ada Ceschin Pilone Foundation» (Zurich)
, the mainpartner for the research projects lead by the MCL on Oriental art and culture.
 Via Cortivo 24/28, 6976 Lugano, Svizzera;Tel. +41.(0)58.866.6960; Fax +41.(0)58.866.6969; skypename
; e-mail
Page 2/11
TREASURES FROM THE GOLDEN LANDSeminar on Burmese Art and CultureLugano, Heleneum, 20.VII. 2012
2. Burmese art
Since they remained for a long time in the shadow of their neighbours –the Great OrientalCivilizations of India, China and Thailand - Burma and its art have rarely been studiedand are still
quite unknown
. The long-lasting closure of the country further obstructedany sort of fieldwork for outsiders. The rare specialists on Burmese art – some of whomwill participate in the seminar – and the few publications existing on this topic are thereflection of these historical circumstances. Burmese works of art are also hardly foundoutside their country of origin, hence being a 
prerogative for a few museums andcollectors
. Amongst the European museums which actually have some of these pieces,some in particular should be mentioned here; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musée Guimet and the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, theMuseum für Asiatische Kunst in Berlin, the Linden Museum in Stuttgart, the VölkerkundeMuseum in Munich, the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin and the Museo d’Arte Siamese inCagliari. In Switzerland, both the Museum der Kulturen in Basel and the Muséed’Ethnographie in Geneva own a small collection of Burmese works of art. ImportantMuseums in the United States are The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, theCentre for Burma Studies in Dekalb, Illinois, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco andthe Denison Museum in Granville, Ohio.Burmese art is strongly permeated by the
external influences of neighbouring countries
, as well as by
 Western values and tastes
that reached the country first of allthrough British colonization and, recently, through tourism and globalization. Nonetheless,Burmese artisans and artists always succeed in adapting foreign canons and techniques tolocal culture, bringing into existence an original artistic creation all the more rich andheterogeneous as it is the
reflection of the ethnic mosaic
that characterizes the country.The outcome consists of an art that is strongly embedded in the values and the imaginaryof 
da Buddhism
, which is the religious soul of the country.This is an art that
conciliates the past of the great royal dynasties with the presentof everyday life
of the common people. In the Burmese culture, everyday objects,devotional objects and decorative objects are melted together without any distinctionbetween decorative arts,
and applied arts. Traditionally, the aim of any kind of art was to provide the religious circle, the royal one and the lay people with
works of artof a particular beauty

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