Sunday, January 11, 2009

Afghanistan Exhibit Asian Art Museum San Francisco

I recently saw the exhibition "Afghanistan" Hidden Treasures from the Nation Museum of Kabul.
When one thinks of Afghanistan the thoughts that come to mind are that the country is a war zone, Islamic culture, and that it is a landlocked country. What makes this exhibition so interesting is the story behind it. The country has been at war for decades, since the Soviet invasion of 1979. Buildings, Mosques, Museums have all been destroyed due to war. The National Museum at Kabul had long thought they had lost important artifacts and masterpieces due to the conflict. Instead a group of people dedicated to preserving Afghanistan's cultural and artistic history had hidden many artifacts in crates the in vaults of the Central Bank. In 2004 these crates were found and opened bringing to light works of art that had survived years of war. This exhibit has works on view from Afghan history from 2200 BCE to 200 CE.

Long before Islam came to Afghanistan, the culture was a very mixed as it lies centrally in the "silk route" . Various religions influenced the art from Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, among others. Different peoples including the Greeks, Indians, Chinese all contributed to the art of Afghanistan. One of my favorite pieces was the "Goddess of Love" statue. Like a Greek statue she had on a draped garment, but it was worn like an Indian garment, had a hair style of a young Jewish woman, and a Tilak on the forehead like a Hindu. It was very interesting to see so many cultures & religions had blended together in antiquity to form the face of Afghanistan.

This exhibit comes to Nyc to the Met this year June 2009.


Post a Comment

<< Home