The Magic of Jade -- East and West
Jade has been cherished and traded across long distances from prehistoric times to the present, not only in China, but also by the Maya in Central America and the aboriginal Maori people of New Zealand. Legends and lore connected with this beautiful stone will be presented, slides of archaeological and more recent jade artifacts will be shown, and a few examples will be available for handling--because part of the specialness of jade is in its feel as well as its visual beauty. Ms. Jean Adelman

How Does Your Garden Grow? Understanding Asian cultures Through the Art of the Garden
Viewed as the ultimate aesthetic form of “environmental manipulation”, the garden  serves as a three-dimensional metaphor for the “world view” of a culture, representing a symbolic “perfect universe.” Basic principles of Asian culture are clearly evidenced in the art and function of the garden. Garden design as a form of personal artistic expression is held in high esteem today, and has been throughout history, particularly in China and Japan.  This illustrated lecture presents several examples, including how the elements of Confucianism and Taoism direct the design of the Chinese garden, the importance of Shinto in the history of the Japanese garden and the common thread of Buddhism in both cultures. Similarities and differences between Chinese and Japanese culture can be clearly shown by examining the art of the garden.  Connie Kirker

Finding Traditional Arts and Crafts in the Markets of Southeast Asia
In this illustrated introduction, participants will learn about the major art and craft traditions that can still be found in the markets of Southeast Asia today.  We will talk about why we are interested in buying objects and what would be good ways to display and use then.
We will learn of the religious and cultural traditions behind the various objects, including textiles and jewelry.  Be able to identify the most common iconography in the arts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, and various indigenous folk traditions and learn to evaluate particular qualities of craftsmanship in traditional arts and crafts commonly found in the marketplaces.  Connie Kirker

India: Past in Present
Learn how different people who ruled over India have influenced the present day society; from the Indus Valley Civilization to the present. Does the caste system still exist? Who introduced caste system in India and why? Learn about art and architecture left behind by the Muslim rulers. Visit this exotic country through the slide presentation and enjoy the diversity through a fashion show, folk dances, music, and festivals. Ms. Prema Deshmukh


Culture of India
Individual states of India have different food, clothing styles, language, and folkdances ... it is like travelling from one country to another. Experience this diversity through a fashion show, folk dances, music, festivals and more. (Presentation on art projects and stories for children available on request.) Ms. Prema Deshmukh

Asian Theater
A survey of traditional dance and drama of India, Indonesia and Japan is presented in light of the myths, origins, and practices of these colorful forms. An hour lecture program with slides of costumes; masks and make-up, and tapes of musical accompaniment provide a meaningful exploration of theater that is having a growing impact on Western drama Mr. Steve Abrams


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