New Gallery for Victoria and Albert Museum: Renowned Collection of Buddhist Sculpture, Dec 21, 2008

LONDON, UK -- The V&A will open The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery in April, the first gallery for Buddhist sculpture in the UK.

The new day-lit gallery will display highlights from the V&A’s world class collection of Buddhist sculpture ranging from monumental Chinese temple sculptures to tiny portable gilded Buddhas. On display for the first time will be an early surviving image of the meditating Buddha (c.300 AD) from North West India and a 17th-century gilded figure of the saviouress Tara from Nepal.

Around 50 sculptures created by master craftsmen between AD 200 and 1850 will be shown in the new gallery to explore how the Buddha has been represented in Asian art. The Gallery will tell the story of the life of the Buddha and the spread of Buddhism from India to the other regions of Asia. The sculptures will be arranged in geographic groupings demonstrating the diversity of artistic expression throughout Asia and will reflect the differing Buddhist practices of India, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas, Burma, Java, Thailand, China and Japan.

The new displays will include a majestic gilded copper figure of Bodhisattva Padmapani from Nepal, richly decorated with precious stones, and an 18th-century monumental gilt bronze seated Buddha from Tibet. Stone and metal Buddhist images from India and the Himalayas will be shown alongside recently restored 19th-century oil paintings which record the famous 5th-century murals in the rock-cut Buddhist monasteries of Ajanta in central India.

Life-size replicas of the sculptural reliefs from the 8th-century Javanese Buddhist temple of Borobudur will also be on display.A section focussing on East Asia will include a powerful 7th-century marble torso of the Buddha from Tang dynasty China and the head of a monumental Buddha once carved directly into the rock face of a 6th-century cave temple complex at Xiangtangshan, northern China. The Japanese Buddhist sculptural tradition will be represented by an 18th-century standing bronze figure of Fudo, the protector of religion.

The spectacular three metre high Mandalay Shrine, a rare surviving piece from the now destroyed royal palace at Mandalay in Burma, will go on display in the Museum for the first time. This wood and lacquer shrine will be shown complete with its ensemble of offering vessels, attendant figures and manuscript case. Based on Burmese royal thrones of the period, the shrine demonstrates the close relationship between beliefs in the spiritual rule of the Buddha and that of the Burmese king’s semi divine status.

The gallery has been made possible by a generous lead donation from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation and a grant of £300,000 from the DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Gallery is part of the V&A’s FuturePlan to transform the museum through new galleries and beautiful redisplays of its collections. The Gallery will include an interactive display to explain the meaning of the hand gestures and poses used in Buddhist sculpture. There will also be two films; one will look at the ancient Buddhist monasteries of Ajanta in central India and Tabo in Tibet; the other will show the living traditions of contemporary Buddhist practice in the Indian Himalayas.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: