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21 September 2016
Asian Shadows


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Ever since whenver man first established a direct relationship between shadows, contemplation and the soul, Oriental cultures encountred the need to develop representations of a religious nature, within the framework of which the characters convey the social code and community standards of behaviour. The hightly complex literary and musical performances became popular among the general population and have survived down to contemporary times.

Heroes, gods, monsters and mythical animals, created from parchments coloured with natural pigmentation, ecapsulate human feelings, passions, acts of revenge and exorcisms in depicting acts whether heroic or grotesque, obscene or fantastic.

The shadows of Asia exhibition reveals the secrets bound up in the shadow theatre traditions of Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India and Turkey. Such secrets are embodied in the approximate 200 figures on display here and that form a sub-section of one of the Museu do Oriente's permanent collections - the Kwok On collection.

This collection, containing around 14,000 different pieces, spans a great range of themes and covers broad sweeps of geographic-cultural areas from the Asian continent to open up insights into the histories, myths and legends that make up the shared culture of the great Asian civilisations.

In the year in which it celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding and five years on from the inauguration of the Museu do Oriente, the Fundação Oriente takes ude pride in revealing to its Portuguese and international visitors one of the finest of Asian traditions and already declared intangible human heritage by UNESCO.

































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