The “Contemporary Buddhist art: traditions and innovations” symposium aims to address the current state of Buddhist art by bringing together the efforts of scientists and experts from different countries. 

Its main objective is to pinpoint common trends and issues in the development of Buddhist art in traditional Buddhist countries as well as in Europe and America. 

The new “world without borders” situation that has emerged at the turn of the 21st century raises a number of issues in this area: How does globalization affect Buddhist art? Which parts of the Buddhist artistic tradition constitute its core and which parts are subject to change? Do traditional principles of creating works of art remain inviolable? How does new technology influence ideas behind Buddhist works of art and ways of creating them? 

The symposium’s scope will include research into the phenomenon of “art” in Buddhism (the place of creative activity among other disciplines, the goals behind the creation of images, the relation between the artist and his mentor in the process of creating a work of art), as well as research into the artistic tradition per se as revealed in concepts like “artistic style”, “artistic form”, and “artistic school”. 

Discussion topics: 
  • The process of creating Buddhist works of art during different historical periods and nowadays. 
  • The role of great masters in the formation and development of artistic tradition. 
  • The application of concepts of “artistic style” and “artistic school” to the study of Buddhist art. 
  • The iconographic and artistic canon: the history of local interactions. 
  • New, synthesizing forms of Buddhist art. 
  • New technology and techniques in the process of creating contemporary works of Buddhist art. 
  • “The artisanal” and “the artistic” in Buddhist art. 

The symposium is organized by the Department of Art History and Culture Studies of the Ural Federal University (Ekaterinburg, Russia) and by the “Rinpoche Bagsha” Datsan (Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia, Russia). It will take place in Ulan-Ude on the premises of the “Rinpoche Bagsha” Datsan, under the auspices of Venerable Yelo Rinpoche.