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Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order.

Ringed by a wall and votive chortens (stupas), the religious enclave (Tib. chökhor) comprises three entrance chortens, a number of shrines and temples, the Dukhang (assembly hall) with its courtyard and monastic dwellings (see Tibet §II, and Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (a)...

Article

Arnige  

Ian Alsop and Kashinath Tamot

[Chin. Anige; A-ni-ke; A-ni-ko; Nepalese: Arnike]

(b c. 1244; d c. 1306).

Nepalese sculptor, architect, and painter who worked in Tibet and China. A Newar from the Kathmandu Valley, Anige is now honoured in his native land as Nepal’s most famous artist of early times. He left his home at the age of 17 or 18, joining the myriads of wandering Newar artists who served the courts of the great lamas and emperors of Tibet and China. He so impressed his patrons at the court of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) that he eventually rose to a position of prominence as the director of the imperial workshops at the capital of Dadu, now Beijing.

No trace of Anige’s life and works has survived in Nepal, but this is not surprising given the dearth of historical records (as is the case throughout the Indian subcontinent), and the fact that artists were generally anonymous. Further, as Anige left the valley at a young age, his artistic distinction was almost entirely achieved in foreign lands....

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....

Article

Gensler  

Sara Stevens

American architectural firm started by Arthur Gensler Drue Gensler, and Jim Follett in 1965 in San Francisco, CA. M. Arthur Gensler jr (b Brooklyn, New York, 1935) attended Cornell University to study architecture (BArch, 1957). The firm began doing build-outs for retail stores and corporate offices, and initially established itself in the unglamorous area of interior architecture. Thirty years later and without mergers or acquisitions, it had grown to become one of the largest architecture firms in the world, having pioneered the global consultancy firm specializing in coordinated rollouts of multi-site building programmes. By 2012 the firm had over 3000 employees in over 40 offices. From the beginning, Art Gensler conceived of a global firm with multiple offices serving corporate clients whose businesses were becoming more international. Instead of the ‘starchitect’ model of his contemporaries such as I. M. Pei or Paul Rudolph, Gensler wanted an ego-free office that existed to serve client needs, not pursue a designer’s aesthetic agenda at the client’s expense. By adopting new web-based computing technologies and integrated design software in the early 1990s, the firm stayed well connected across their many offices and were more able than their competitors to manage large multi-site projects. Expanding from the services a traditional architecture firm offers, the company pushed into new areas well suited to their information technology and interiors expertise, such as organizational design, project management, and strategic facilities planning....

Article

Gyantse  

Barry Till

[rgyal rtse; Gyangzê]

Fourth largest city in Tibet, strategically located between Lhasa and Shigatse along the caravan route to India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Gyantse is most famous for its fortress citadel, or Dzong, and its lamasery. The 15th-century fortress, situated on a hill overlooking the town, served as an effective buffer against invasions from the south for centuries until 1904, when it was partially destroyed and conquered by British forces led by Francis Younghusband. It suffered further damage by the Chinese in the 1960s. Although in poor condition, the fort still has significant traces of ancient wall paintings.

The complex of buildings within the old walls at Gyantse, often referred to as the Palkhor Choide or Pelkor Chode (dpal ‘khor chos sde) Lamasery, was founded in 1418 by Rabten Kunsang (1389–1442), a follower of Khedrup Je (1385–1438), himself a disciple of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), the founder of the Gelugpa sect. The monastic complex was formerly much more extensive, but a number of buildings were dismantled during the 1960s. The main buildings have survived relatively intact, however. Chief among these and one of the most impressive buildings in all of Tibet is the ...

Article

Hadda  

E. Errington

[Haḍḍa; Hilo]

Site of numerous Buddhist monasteries, 8 km south-west of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. It flourished from the 1st century bc to the 8th century ad. The ancient site, known as Hilo to Chinese pilgrims of the 5th–8th century, is partially covered by a modern village. The earliest archaeological reports were compiled by Claude-Auguste Court (1827), Charles Masson (1834) and William Simpson (1878–9). Masson excavated 14 stupas, primarily at Gundi Kabul (also known as Tepe Kabul and Tepe Safed). He also uncovered the stupa at Tepe Kalan (also known as Tapa-é-Top-é-Kalan, Tope Kelan and Bordji-i Kafariha). A French delegation excavated most of the remaining ruins, including Tepe Kafariha and Bagh Gai, between 1926 and 1928. In 1965 a Japanese mission investigated Lalma, 3 km south-west of Hadda. Tepe Shotor (also known as Tapa-é-Shotor) and Tepe Kalan were excavated by the Afghan Institute of Archaeology between 1965 and ...

Article

Van Lau  

Mayching Kao

[Wen Lou]

(b Xinhui County, Guangdong Province, Sept 15, 1933).

Chinese sculptor and printmaker, active in Hong Kong. Van moved with his family to Vietnam in 1935 and studied architecture and fine arts in Taiwan from 1953 to 1958; in 1960 he settled in Hong Kong. He became an influential figure in the local arts scene, not only assuming a leading role as a sculptor of the modern school, but also active in arts administration, publishing, design, education and politics. In the 1960s, inspired by contemporary international movements, Van experimented in different styles and media. He subsequently returned to his native tradition for imagery and aesthetic concepts, though retaining a Western approach in formal organization. Thereafter, his focus has been metal sculpture in geometric formations suggesting vitality and organic growth. His fascination with movement, particularly flight, inspired his Space Form (Hong Kong, Space Mus.), completed in 1980, followed by numerous public commissions.

Wen Lou/The Art of Van Lau (exh. cat., intro. ...

Article

Leh  

Kirit Mankodi

Capital of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Located near the River Indus on an ancient trade route between India, Tibet and China, Leh is notable for a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, known as the Tsemo Gompa, and the Lechen Pelkar palace and fort, all erected under the Namgyel rulers of the 16th–17th centuries. Among the buildings of the Tsemo Gompa is the Temple of the Guardian Deities, built by Tashi Namgyel in the 16th century, which contains images of the fierce protector Mahakala, Vaishravana (one of the four heavenly kings), the Great Goddess and another fierce guardian (yet to be identified). Also in the Tsemo Gompa, the Maitreya Temple contains a celebrated three-storey-high figure of the Future Buddha flanked by the bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri; the shrine may date to the 16th century, but it has been extensively renovated in recent times. The palace is a ruined nine-storey structure set on a hill north-east of the town; founded by ...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Hong Kong, July 19, 1932).

Singaporean architect, urban planner and writer. He studied at the Architectural Association School, London, graduating in 1955; he worked for the London County Council for a year and then was a Fulbright Fellow in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1956–7). After 1957 he worked exclusively in Singapore and Malaysia as partner in a number of practices, and as principal of Design Partnership (DP). Working in a modernist style, he concentrated on residential and commerical works within an urban or historic framework, with a particular interest in the improvement of the urban environment. He built several large-scale shopping complexes in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the first being the People’s Park (1973; with Tay Kheng Soon), Singapore; this multi-level centre, with innovative atrium spaces and a mix of large and small shops, became a model for much subsequent commercial development in the city. Other important projects in Singapore included the Golden Mile Shopping Centre (...

Article

[Nāgapaṭṭiṇam; Nāgapaṭṭaṇam; Nāgipaṭṭaṇam]

Seaport and centre of Buddhism in Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India. Nagappattinam had significant connections with China, with Sri Lanka and with the kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra from the 7th century ad to the 15th. The earliest reference dates to the time of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha (reg 690–728), during whose rule a temple was built for Chinese Buddhists who had come to India for trading purposes. Mahayana Buddhism was also encouraged by members of the Javanese Shailendra dynasty, who in the mid-9th century extended their rule into Sumatra (Suvarnadvipa). In the 11th century they provided grants for the construction of shrines (Skt caityas). These were built under the patronage of the contemporary kings of the Chola dynasty and named Rajaraja-perum-palli and Rajendra-Chola-perum-palli after Rajaraja I (reg c. 985–1014) and Rajendra I (reg 1012–44) respectively. None of these monuments survives. The last remarkable Buddhist temple, a brick-built tower-like structure, perhaps dating to Pallava times, was pulled down in the mid-19th century, but its appearance is preserved in a sketch of ...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

[anc. Sāṅkāśya; Sankisa]

Buddhist site in Farrukhabad District, Uttar Pradesh, India. The Buddha is said to have descended at Sankasya, accompanied by the gods Indra and Brahma, after preaching to his deceased mother in the Trayastrimsha Heaven. When the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang visited the site in the 7th century ad, he observed a great monastery with three staircases representing those on which the Buddha, Indra and Brahma descended, as well as several stupas and a lion pillar. Today little remains, although the site has not been formally excavated. Several mounds are apparent within an earthen rampart about 5.8 km in circumference. The principal monument is an elephant capital (not the lion capital recorded by Xuanzang) carved from buff-coloured sandstone. Only the pedestal is polished, but it is sufficiently like other animal capitals on pillars of Ashoka (reg c. 269–232 bc) of the Maurya dynasty that it, too, probably dates to that time. The pillar’s shaft has not been found. Other objects found at the site are very small, among them a fragmentary relief medallion, possibly as early as the ...

Article

Stupa  

E. Errington, Howard A. Wilson, John Villiers, Henrik H. Sørensen, Erberto F. Lo Bue, Young-Ho Chung and Ken Brown

[Skt stūpa; Pkt thūbha; Pali thūpa; Eng. tope]

Dome-shaped mound, often containing sacred relics. It became the primary cult monument of Buddhist and also Jaina monastic establishments in India. The stupa retained its importance as Buddhism spread across Asia, and a variety of stupa types evolved.

The stupa’s origin is almost certainly the tumulus or funerary mound. According to the Mahāparinirvāṇa sūtra (an early account of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni), the funeral cult due to a Buddha is the same as for a great king: a tumulus should be constructed for the cremated remains at a crossroads and honoured with parasols and other symbols of veneration. Inscriptions of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (reg c. 269–232 bc) attest that the cult of the stupa was already in existence in India by the 3rd century bc (see Buddhism, §III, 1). They mention not only erecting new stupas, but also repairing and enlarging existing monuments in honour of Shakyamuni and of previous Buddhas....

Article

Tabo  

Thomas J. Pritzker

Buddhist monastery of the 10th century on the banks of the Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh, India. The area was formerly part of the western Tibetan kingdom of Guge (see Tibet, §I, 2). Towards the end of the 10th century the king of Guge renounced his throne and took monastic vows under the name Yeshe Ö. He subsequently sent the brilliant young monk Rinchen Sangpo (958–1055), the ‘Great Translator’, to India with the mission of learning, retrieving and translating the orthodox Buddhist teachings of India. During the second quarter of the 11th century, Rinchen Sangpo continued this work under Yeshe Ö’s nephew Changchub Ö. Inscriptional and other evidence credits these three remarkable men with the creation of Tabo Monastery. In addition, as Buddhism was disappearing in India, they provided the stimulus for the Second Diffusion of the faith throughout Tibet (see Buddhism §III 6.); Tabo not only provides inscriptional information about this pivotal period, but its wall paintings also document an important art style that has largely been destroyed elsewhere....

Article

[anc. Ānandapura]

Town and temple site in northern Gujarat, India. While the date of its foundation is uncertain, references in the ancient religious text known as the Skanda purā ṇa and the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang (7th century ad) indicate the considerable importance the town enjoyed by this date as a centre of Hindu and Jaina learning. Two elaborately carved monumental arched gateways (tora ṇas) dating to the 11th century and located just outside the northern walls are the major artistic remains. In form, sculptural style and trabeate construction technique they resemble the gateways at Modhera and Sidhpur. Nothing remains of the temple to which they were originally attached. Several stone-lined, stepped tanks of the 11th and 12th centuries also survive, the largest being the Sarmishta Tank; these were embellished with figurative relief sculptures. A stone inscription embedded in one of Vadnagar’s six gates commemorates the building of the town’s walls and dates to ...