What does modern-day Los Angeles have in common with a Silk Road desert oasis town in Northwestern China?
Dunhuang--a lively center of international commerce, cultural exchange, religion, music and art along the Silk Road--comes to Los Angeles this summer in a series of public performances, exhibitions, and events that showcase the creativity and collaboration found in both cities. Explore the history and art of Dunhuang, and see the same spirit of openness and exchange reflected in our Los Angeles community. Kicking off with a groundbreaking exhibition of art and artifacts from Dunhuang at the Getty, the UCLA Confucius Institute is collaborating with local and international partners to bring concerts, workshops, film screenings and more that celebrate the often surprising connections between Dunhuang and LA.
Read on to learn more about the events:
Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road
Exhibition at the Getty Center
May 7–September 4, 2016
The Mogao caves, located near the town of Dunhuang in the Gobi Desert of northwest China, comprise some 500 decorated Buddhist cave temples dating from the 4th to the 14th century. Filled with exquisite wall paintings and sculptures, the caves bear witness to the intense religious, artistic, and cultural exchanges along the Silk Road, the trade routes linking East and West. Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road features numerous objects originally from the site—such as paintings and manuscripts that have rarely, if ever, traveled to the United States, as well as three spectacular full-size cave replicas. The exhibition celebrates more than 25 years of collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Music Concert at the Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
May 20, 2016, 7:30—9:00 pm
Master musicians and scholar-performers from UCLA bring historic Silk Road to life in a public performance weaving together musical traditions from China, India, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Cave Temples of Dunhuang: History, Art, and Materiality
Symposium at the Getty Center and UCLA
May 20-21, 2016
This symposium, featuring over 20 leading international scholars, explores the unique combination of historical perspectives, spiritual content, artistic practice, and innovative approaches required in the practice of ancient art conservation. Keynote speaker Rong Xinjiang will discuss the distinctive geography and history of the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang. Individual sessions will examine the media of wall paintings and manuscripts as well as the iconographic themes of the caves, particularly their deep and layered Buddhist content.
Teaching with the Cave Temples of Dunhuang
Education Conference at the Getty Center
August 1, 2016
In this free, full-day workshop, participants will explore the landmark Getty Museum exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang. Educators will tour the exhibition, learn about Buddhism and conservation science with scholars, and collaborate with Summer Institute on China teachers to generate classroom-ready lessons and activities for implementation in their own teaching.
Getty Family Festival
Tours, performances, and workshops at the Getty Center
June 11, 2016
Explore the history, art, and daily life of the ancient Silk Road at the Getty's summer Family Festival. Experience the vibrant culture of Dunhuang through interactive dance performances, guided tours of the cave replicas, Chinese calligraphy workshops, and more!
Film biennial and screening series
August - December 2016
If the modern cinema can be conceived as a kind of high-tech “illuminated cave”, then Los Angeles, the beating heart of the American film industry and the leading supplier of entertainment in the world, has a deep spiritual connection to the vibrant storytelling found in Dunhuang’s cave art. The Dunhuang Projected program, slated to begin in August 2016, will combine a carefully-curated series of film screenings (five to eight titles) with public discussions. An affiliated exhibition of new artwork, collaboratively created by six Los Angeles- and China-based artists, has been specially commissioned to complement the films.