Conference Schedule: Icons of Impermanence

“Icons of Impermanence: Contemporary Buddhist Art”

The University of British Columbia, July 6-7, 2012, funded by The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation, in conjunction with the Visions of Enlightenment: Buddhist Art at MOA exhibition.

Friday, July 6, 2012

1:30pm – 2:30pm   Registration, C.K. Choi Building

2:30pm – 3:45pm   Panel 1: Reframing Art in Contemporary South Asian and Himalayan Context

  • Chair: Katherine Hacker (University of British Columbia)
  • Catherine Becker (University of Illinois at Chicago) “Bulletproof Stupa: Framing the Buddhist Heritage of Andhra Pradesh”
  • Latika Gupta (Jawaharlal Nehru University) “On Sacred Ground: Constructing an Ancient Ritual for ‘Tibetan’ Buddhism in Spiti”

3:45pm – 4:00pm    Break

4:00pm – 5:15pm    Panel 1: Reframing Art Continued

  • William Y. Ng (Hong Kong Baptist University) “Representing the Sacred and the Profane: A Preliminary Reflection on the Spatial Design of the Chih Lian Complex”
  • Ben Wood (University of Toronto) “Shalu’s Inaugural Statuary According to the Monastery’s Contemporary Promotional Publications”

5:30pm – 7:00pm   Reception Buffet, Museum of Anthropology

7:30pm – 9:00pm   Keynote Address, Michael Ames Theatre, Museum of Anthropology

Saturday, July 7, 2012

8:30am – 9:00am    C.K. Choi Building opens

9:00am – 10:15am   Panel 2: Contemporary Artists and their Buddhist Inspirations

  • Chair: Gregory Levine  (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Sabine Grosser (University of Paderborn) “Changing Perspectives: Politics, Identity and Buddhism in Contemporary Sri Lankan Art”
  • Anne Vincent-Durand (Institut d’Arts, Lettres et Histoire, U.C.O., Angers, France) “The Emergence of the Visible in the Works of Chen Zhen”

10:15am – 10:30am   Break

10:30am – 11:45Am   Panel 3: New Interactions with Japan Buddhist Images and Ideas

  • Chair: Cynthea Bogel (Kyushu University)
  • Sherry Fowler (University of Kansas) “Pilgrimage to Two Local Temples in Kyushu”
  • Patricia J. Graham (University of Kansas)  “Buddhist-Inspired Artists from Contemporary Japan: Intersections of Tradition, Imagination, and Social Activism”

12:00pm – 1:30pm   Lunch

1:30pm – 2:45pm     Panel 4: Western Appearances

  • Chair: Jessica Main (University of British Columbia)
  • Gregory Levine  (University of California at Berkeley) “Legend of the Colfax Buddha Heads: Landscape, Race and the Visual Cultures of Buddhist Modernism”
  • Laurie Milner (Bishop’s University and Concordia University) “Resounding Stillness: Reflecting on the Bardo of the Present Moment”

2:45pm – 3:00pm    Break

3:00pm – 4:15pm    Panel 4: Western Appearances Continued

  • Eva Seegers (Canterbury Christ Church University) “Contemporary Tibetan Stupas in Modern Europe: The Opportunities and Risks of Constructing Buddhist Monuments in a New Cultural Context”
  • Marwood Larson-Harris (Roanoke College) “Contemporary Adaptations of the Oxherding Pictures and the Globalization of Buddhist Culture”

6:00pm – 9:00pm    Dinner, The Point Grill

The Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Asian Studies and the Institute of Asian Research

Conference presentations are open to the public. To account for numbers, please send an email to and notify us of your desire to attend. This conference is held in conjunction with the “Visions of Enlightenment: Buddhist Art at MOA” exhibition and we would like to recognize the following organizations for their support:

  • The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation
  • Canadian Society for Asian Arts
  • Museum of Anthropology at UBC
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