Buddha Exhibition with 232 masterpieces
The Buddha Exhibition in Voelklingen/Germany was an impressing and humbling experience for me. Never before have 232 masterpieces from India, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, China, Japan, Nepal, and Tibet been shown together.
The works span 2000 years of Buddhism art with incredibly beautiful pieces from mostly private collectors, that have opened their treasuries for us. The exhibition provides a comprehensive and deep insight into the great religious art of buddhism.
Und the patronage of his holiness the XIV. Dalai Lama
Und the patronage of his holiness the XIV. Dalai Lama, the works show the transnational cultural and artistic relationships that have been created through Buddhism.
The pieces are exhibited in one of the grand steel work halls, that seem to be unchanged since the days that the plant was in operation. One expects steel workers any time going about their business. Not only due to the exhibition with ancient art pieces, but also the nature of the venue makes this experience something like a time travel.
Unique and Mystique Ambience
The venue and the topic of the exhibition could not be more different, which adds to a unique and mystique ambience, supported by darkened lights and hushed tones of the visitors.
The exhibition in sectioned geographically, showing the works over different periods.
An educational video (afraid in German and French only) explains the different periods and their importance, whilst giving examples of the exquisite masterpieces and icons representing different styles and high periods.
One of the major emphasises of the Buddha exhibition for example is the art in buddhism of the Himalayan region. Many of the presented works from Nepal belong to the most exquisite in the world. Two large and very unique bronze statues from between the years 400 and 879, the golden ages of Nepalese art. Even more surprising is a wooden Bottisatva statue from the 8th century, that is astonishing and in an excellent condition. The survival of a wooden statue in a rather wet climate like Nepal is nothing short of a wonder.
Tibet represents more than 80 exhibits. It is the largest region and remarkably plentiful and complex in a wide spectrum, compared to other countries such as Nepal, China and Kashmir. This may be owed to an openness and curiosity and the readiness to adapt foreign styles.
The Buddha exhibition is escorted by a variety of events:
– readings organised by the Universities of Saarland and Trier which present newest findings in research and science,
– intercultural and inter-religious dialogs,
– and more to draw attention to Buddhism.
Photography Solo Exhibition by Steve McCurry
One of the world’s best photographers, Steve McCurry, accompanies the exhibition with his photographs taken between 1985 and 2013. The large scale pictures are not only stunning and impressive, but additionally provide evidence for the artist’s interaction with the culture and the wide spectrum of Buddhism. Ends 6.11. 2016.
Extra Tip: The Venue
An extremely exiting place, visiting the world cultural heritage site Voelklingen Ironworks is a real adventure.
As visitor, you can
- go deep into the dark corridors of the burden shed
- climb up to the lofty heights of the blast furnace viewing platform
- watch a multi media introduction to the sintering plant that takes you on a journey through time
- view the town of Voelklingen and the contemporary active works of steel manufacturing from the roof of the ore shed. what a panorama!
- have a picnic at the granulating plant
- ascent to the top platform on 27 meters above ground where the raw materials were once tipped into the blast furnaces
- climb even higher to the viewing platform of the blast furnace group. unmatched panorama!
- walk via the coal track with its 20 metre long spiral chute over the blower shed footbridge into the blower shed
- see the blowers, the giants of iron and steel which generated the blast
- all-together walk along 7000 meters signposted walkways
Remember to take an extra 2 to 3 hours to add to the Buddha visit!
If you are interested in going – which I highly recommend – the Buddha exhibition at the Voelklinger Huette ends 19 February 2017.
Spa Geek Knowledge
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is not widely considered a religion in the Western sense. It does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god. Thus Buddhism directs at all people, regardless race, nationality, caste, gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to be fully responsible for their own lives. Practises include meditation as way of changing one self and develop good qualities such as awareness, kindness, and wisdom.