The sacred mountain Wutaishan (Mount Wutai), located in Shanxi Province, China, is believed to be the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Manjushri, and for a thousand years it has been a focus of transnational pilgrimage for the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongols, and Manchus alike. This multi-culturalism, endemic of Himalayan art, is reflected in the objects in the exhibition coming from Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, and China, including paintings, sculptures, masks, book covers and features a six-foot wide woodblock print, a panoramic view of Mount Wutai filled with temples and miraculous visions. As Manjushri was seen as the patron deity of China, Wutaishan was also a focus of imperial attention, and rulers tied their own legitimacy to this deity and promoted his cult at Mount Wutai, blurring and intertwining religious, state, ethnic, and even artistic identity.
The opening of the exhibition coincided with the international conference “Wutaishan and Qing Culture,” held at the museum, May 12 and 13, 2007.
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