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SF’s Asian Art Museum Goes Into the Mandala

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This coming Friday, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum will be taking visitors to an exploration of places in the cosmos, courtesy of what is considered to be the maps of the Buddhist visionary worlds.

Titled Enter the Mandala: Mental Maps and Cosmic Centers of Himalayan Buddhism, this exhibition will consist of 14th-century paintings, which will align a gallery with cardinal directions, transforming open spaces to form an architectural mandala. This will be seen as a chance to experience the images (recreated in one’s mind’s eye)in three dimensions, and dwell into the midst of cosmic symbols, and to be transported into another world.

A few samples of what is to come at this exhibition can be seen at the Asian Art Museum’s website at Some of the works depict different kinds of the cosmic Buddha, and will even have a brief description for each. For example, one is under the name “Vairochana”, which is described as the cosmic Buddha that sits at the center of the cosmos, where he positions himself as the “all-seeing”. Another example that can be seen on the museum’s website is a Japanese hanging scroll titled Taima mandala.

Enter the Mandala is on view until October 26th.


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