Asian Art


In 2006 the Asiatic collection was enlarged and now includes Buddha-figures from Burma, Thailand, Nepal, Japan, Cambodia and Tibet. In addition, the collection contains paintings (Thangkas from Tibet, calligraphy from Taiwan), pottery (cultic pots, vases, bowls from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and China) and extensive Chinese Jadework from the Neolithic era onward.

In February 2007 the Foundation Situation Kunst, in co-operation with the Ruhr University, organized an international interdisciplinary Symposium on how to examine the authenticity and estimate the age of ancient African and Asian art and entitled: "Original-Copy-Fake? Examining the Authenticity of Ancient Works of Art".



View of the Asia-Room
Sitting Monk, Japan 14th Century

Sitting Monk


Japan, Kamakura-period, between 1324 and 1439

Painted wood and glass


The violence-prone power of the samurais put an end to the Heian-era and its predilection for decorative arts. The government moved from Kyoto to Kamakura and the concurrence of an emerging, strict nature-oriented Zen-Buddhism and the rigid regime of the Samurai lead to a realistic art with a simple grace. This type of Japanese art was named Kamakura after the new capital city. Cultural products of these times, mostly under the influence of Chinese territories, are portraits made with the gyokugan-technique (inserting glass or crystal eyes) and depicting famous priests.

Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara, Nepal, 15/16th Century

Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara


Nepal, 15/16th Century

Copper with traces of polish


A Bodhisattva ('the master') is a Buddhist who, although he had reached the highest level of perfection, refuses to enter Nirvana, in order to serve those who suffer. They are mostly depicted dressed like an idealized ancient Indian prince in a nonchalant position with the upper part of the body naked. While the headpiece is seen as an emanation of Buddha Amitabha, there is always a miniature sculpture of it on the head of Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara.