LIF E , D E ATH AND M AGIC : 2 0 0 0 Y E ARS OF SOUTH E AST ASIAN ANC E STRAL ART Robyn Maxwell – TAASA Review June 2010


This article was originally found in the June 2010 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 4).

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A major exhibition Life, death and magic: 2000 years of Southeast Asian ancestral art, opens at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra in August 2010.

Its focus is the art of small communities throughout the region who maintained the animist beliefs of their ancestors when most large kingdoms and trading societies adopted Hinduism and Buddhism, and later, Islam and Christianity.

While Australian audiences can find fine examples of Southeast Asian Buddhist and Hindu art in public collections, and have had the unique opportunity to visit Crescent Moon: Islamic art and civilization in Southeast Asia in Adelaide and Canberra in 2005­2006, there are very few superb examples of animist sculpture, textiles and gold in Australia...