NEWS

From Gandhāra to Gupta

By Press Office
Buddhistdoor Global | 2017-04-21 |
Bhamala Buddhist-period site, Khanpur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: Buddha with flanking figures. Photo © Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, Pakistan.Bhamala Buddhist-period site, Khanpur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: Buddha with flanking figures. Photo © Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Gandhāran art is well known for the Hellenistic legacy in its art and architecture, and its emergence and flourishing under the Kushan rulers has been the subject of numerous studies. Less attention has been paid to its gradual demise in the area covered by modern Pakistan and neighboring regions, and to the transitional period from Kushan rule to the Gupta period. However, it is at this time that some of its art fully reflects early Mahāyāna ideas, that Kharosthi script is replaced by Brahmi, and that figural art proliferates and stucco appears to become the most prominent sculptural material. For this period, different academic disciplines base their theories on diverging sets of assumptions and rarely speak to each other. This conference aims to facilitate a dialogue across these disciplines and to bring the academic discourse on this period up to date.

Organized by SOAS and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Art and Conservation at The Courtauld, and supported by the ERC Synergy Grant, “Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region, Language and the State,” this conference will be held at The Courtauld Institute of Art, and will comprise an opening lecture and reception on the evening of Friday 12 May, followed by a day of eight lectures on Saturday 13 May.

18:00–20:45 Friday, 12 May 2017 (registration from 17:30)
10:30–17:45 Saturday, 13 May 2017 (registration from 10:00)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, England.

Ticket/entry details: £16 general admission / £11 students and concessions. Complimentary places available for Courtauld and SOAS staff and students. Advance booking required: fromgandharatogupta.eventbrite.co.uk

Program

Friday 12 May: Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art

17:30–18:00     Registration
18:00                Welcome: Nathan Hill (SOAS) and David Park (The Courtauld Institute of Art)
18:10–19:10     Keynote lecture: Juhyung Rhi  (Seoul National University, South Korea)
                         Later Gandhāra, Post-Gandhāra: the Fate of a Civilisation at the Frontier
19:10–20:45     Reception

Saturday 13 May: Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art

10:00–10:30     Registration

Session 1        Chair: Nathan Hill (SOAS)

10:30–11:10     Keynote lecture: Stefan Baums  (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich)
                        Writing Culture from Gandhāra to Gupta: Manuscripts, Inscriptions and Art
11:10–11:40     Ingo Strauch (University of Lausanne)
                        The Buddha Akșobhya and his Buddha Field Abhirati in a Mahāyāna Sūtra from 
                        Bajaur

11:40–11:50     Discussion
11:50–12:20     Tea/Coffee Break (provided for all, in Seminar Room 1)

Session 2        Chair: Christian Luczanits (SOAS)

12:20–12:50     Jason Neelis (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)
                         Transformational Emplacements: Shifting Patterns in the Localisation of Buddhist
                         Narratives in Gandhāra

12:50–13:20     Jessie Pons (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)
                         Localising the Buddha’s Legend: the Case of Apalala’s Conversion
13:20–13:30     Discussion
13:30–14:45     Lunch Break (provided for speakers only)

Session 3        Chair: Peter Stewart (University of Oxford)

14:45–15:15     Abdul Samad (Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
                         Peshawar, Pakistan)
                         Bhamala Archaeological Excavations: New Dates for Gandhāran Chronology
15:15–15:45     Luca M. Olivieri (ACT Project, Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan)
                         Decline or Transformations: Patterns of Change in Swat at and after the end of the 
                         Kushan Era (3rd– 6th Century CE)

15:45–15:50     Discussion
15:50–16:30     Tea/Coffee Break (provided for all, in Seminar Room 1)

Session 4         Chair: David Park (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

16:30–17:00      Pierre Cambon (Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet [MNAAG], Paris)
                          Sculptures from Hadda in the Musée Guimet, and Problems of Chronology in Late
                          Gandhāran Art

17:00–17:30      Giovanni Verri (Courtauld Institute of Art), Christian Luczanits (SOAS),
                          Nick Barnard (V&A), John Clarke (V&A) and Victor Borges (V&A)
                          The ‘Hadda Head’: Scientific Investigations of a Gandhāran Stucco Head of the
                          Buddha at the Victoria and Albert Museum (IM.3-1931)

17:30–17:45      Discussion and Concluding Remarks
17:45                 End

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