Each religion has its own cosmology with a unique concept of time and space. The concept of time and space developed by East Asian Buddhists was related to, but distinct from, the Buddhist tradition of the religion’s home country of India, and it resulted in the birth of a new type of art and architecture in China, Korea, and Japan. Through exploration of East Asian Buddhist art, this course examines how East Asian Buddhists understood human life and death in the cycles of time and space, how they mapped hell and paradise in the cosmos, and how they attempted to visualize their perception of time and space in their art and architecture. In a larger context, the course examines the relationship among image, text, and practice in East Asian Buddhism through comparative readings of visual images and texts. By the end of the term, students achieve an understanding of how the East Asian Buddhist view of the cosmos gave birth to various types of visual arts, and how those visual materials in turn influenced religious practices and experience.
Taught by Youn-mi Kim Spring 2016