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Family foundation gives Buddhist sculpture first UK public display

Family foundation gives Buddhist sculpture first UK public display

News (International, UK)

A season celebrating Buddhist inspired-arts and the opening of the first gallery for Buddhist sculpture in the UK coincides with a Hong Kong foundation’s move into British philanthropy.

The Many Faces of Buddhism is a series of arts and cultural events drawing on Buddhist cultural traditions, to be presented in London by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation to coincide with the opening of The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery at the Victorial & Albert (V&A) museum, the first gallery for Buddhist sculpture in the UK.

The Foundation is a Hong Kong-based philanthropic organisation committed to fostering Asian arts and culture. Working towards these goals with a global perspective, the Foundation supports arts and Buddhist programmes both in its home base and internationally.

"We hope to ignite people's interest and open the connecting doors to Buddhist philosophy and the arts with the festival," explained Caroline Pfohl-Ho, Chair of the Foundation, in an exclusive interview with Philanthropy UK. The Foundation aims to make Buddhist philosophy relevant to all people's lives and would like the festival to become an annual event in London.

The programme, which runs 25 April-17 May,  will include dance, visual arts, talks, and films:

  • A Day of Rare Buddhist Dance representing Buddhist traditions from Sri Lanka, Japan, Nepal and India at the V&A museum
  • A two week International Buddhist Film Festival at the Barbican in London
  • An International Forum on Buddhism and the Arts Today at the V&A museum  

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery at the V&A will display highlights from the V&A’s collection of Buddhist sculpture ranging from monumental Chinese temple sculptures to small portable gilded Buddhas.

Around 50 sculptures created between AD 200 and 1850 will be shown in the new gallery to explore how the Buddha has been represented in Asian art and it will include rare pieces to be displayed in the Museum for the first time.

The Gallery, which will open on 29th April, will tell the story of the life of the Buddha and the spread of Buddhism from India to the other regions of Asia.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery is part of the V&A’s FuturePlan to transform the museum through new galleries and redisplays of its collections. A grant of £300,000 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries has also contributed to the gallery.

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