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The Iconography of Avalokitesvara in Mainland South East Asia

Nandana Chutiwongs (Author)

This book contains a life-long study by the author on the concept and configuration of one of the best loved religious figures in Asia. It is based on data extensively acquired from inscriptional and other archaeological evidence. The book offers a deep insight into the religious life of ancient Southeast Asia, which has provided the backdrop to the veneration of Avalokitesvara, the Buddhist personification of Compassion. The visual representations portray him in an amazing variety of forms, reflecting the local adaptations of imported norms, to meet the spiritual obligations and the aesthetic aspirations of each community. Their iconographic details symbolically personify a series of religious ideologies, of human hope, basic needs and of yearning faith. Their stylistic features reveal, not only the standards of human artistic achievements, but also the trends of religious variants among societies of different cultural and social backgrounds, but united in a common faith and belief.

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About the author

Nandana Chutiwongs

Born in Thailand, Dr. Nandana Chutiwongs received her B.A. in ancient art and archaeology of South and Southeast Asia, from the Silpakorn University in Bangkok in 1963. She obtained her M.A. in Indo-Iranian languages and cultures from the University of Amsterdam, and her Ph.D. from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. She has had a long career as a lecturer and a senior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. At present, she is the curator of the Department of South and Mainland Southeast Asia at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, and a regular guest lecturer at the Silpakorn University in Bangkok. She is currently involuved in many international research projects, especially in the fields of Buddhist art and cultural exchanges in China and Sri Lanka.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Iconography of Avalokitesvara in Mainland South East Asia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.12.2002
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052352
length xxxvi+384p., Figuers; Plates; Notes; References; Appendix; BIbliography; Index; 28cm.