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Asian art is often applied to any artwork made in Burma, China, India, Iran, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Tibet, Turkey, Laos and Azerbaijan.  It's influence is as wide as its subject matter and style.


One of the oldest art forms in the world is ancient Chinese art. Knowledge of ancient Chinese art is limited largely to works in pottery, bronze, bone, and jade. Some of the most amazing examples of art were created during the Shang dynasty (c.1750–1045 BC), and were called ritual bronzes.


Buddhism came about in the 1st cent. AD and introduced art of a different form. Works of sculpture, painting, and architecture with a religious basis were created. Sculptures that represented Buddha and the bodhisattvas as well as attendant figures were the most popular. These figures came to China from India by way of central Asia.

Did you know?
The mandala, a representation of the universe used in meditation, is emblematic of early Buddhist art. In recent years, the mandala has become even more prominent in today's art as a way to reduce stress and calm ones inner self from the hustle and bustle of today's world.

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Below is some basic information on Asian and Indian Art and its characteristics and influences. If you would like to print off a copy of this page along with samples of art from this period, you can download the Asian-Indian Summary above.

Quick Facts:
  • Was a way to share the meaning of life

  • Art enhanced the natural beauty of materials used

  • Art was simplistic, calm/serene and usually had a religious theme

Characteristics and/or Types of Art:
  • Frescoes

  • Buildings such as Taj Mahal

  • Paintings

  • Block prints

  • Religion: Buddhism and Hinduism

  • Political rulers

  • Invasions by foreigners

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