VICTORIA, BC.- The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
presents Religious Arts of Asia, on view through March 22, 2009. Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, with millions of different peoples. They follow a wide variety of different religions. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including: Shintoism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as many other beliefs.
Historical backgrounds and development of the religious art will be surveyed briefly in the exhibition to provide context for the exhibition's central focus, which compares the art and basic beliefs of the various religions. The exhibition features sacred objects and art from most of the religions. Due to the nature of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Asian art collection, most of the artefacts on display will be Buddhist as this is one of the strengths of the collection.
On display will be an impressive and rare Pillar Figure, a hallmark of the Chalcolithic culture (4500-3500 BCE) of the ancient Near East. The piece is of outstanding and significant nature due to its age, style, size and rarity. It is the most valuable piece in the collection of the AGGV ($1.5 million) and was recently donated to the Gallery by philanthropists Joey & Toby Tanenbaum.