Boreth Ly: "Theravāda Buddhist Arts of Mainland Southeast Asia"

Saturday February 2nd 2013, 1:00 - 4:00PM
Event Sponsor
Continuing Studies, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford
Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building
Boreth Ly: "Theravada Buddhist Arts of Mainland Southeast Asia"


This seminar comprises two parts. First, it introduces participants to the little discussed Buddhist arts and architecture of Laos, and in particular, the mural paintings, textiles, and ephemeral ritual arts of Luang Prabang. We will consider this body of materials in its local and religious contexts.

The second part of the seminar will address the role Theravada (and Socially Engaged Buddhism) plays in the Contemporary arts of Southeast Asia. Questions to be raised include: How do local and global artists integrate Theravada Buddhist philosophical perspectives on materiality, ritual, space, and performance into their arts? In what ways do socially engaged Buddhist arts offer us alternative ways for thinking about social political movements and communities?


Boreth Ly is Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Art and Visual Culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was born in Cambodia, and educated in France and the United States. Dr. Ly has conducted field research and traveled extensively in Southeast Asia. At the University of California at Santa Cruz, he teaches courses on ancient and Contemporary arts of Southeast Asia and its diaspora. He has published numerous articles on the visual culture of Southeast Asia and its diaspora; in addition, he has co-edited a book, with Nora Taylor, Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Anthology (Ithaca, NY: SEAP, 2012).