The work of the second international symposium “Buddhist Art: tradition and innovation” is aimed at the consolidation of research and conceptualization of the past and present Buddhist art, carried out by the scholars from across the world. 

The theme of the upcoming symposium “Buddhist Art in Eurasian Cultural Spaces: Diversity in Harmony” is the co-existence of different cultures united by the unique spiritual impulse of Buddhism. Arriving to the new territories of Asia and Eurasia, bringing different nations and countries together via its worldview and its teaching of active compassion, Buddhism managed not only to preserve their cultural diversity – often it brought local art traditions to the whole new level, giving them a new interpretation and highlighting new meanings. 

How did the cultures of different countries interact with Buddhist Art? What are the important foundations behind the diversity of forms of Buddhist temples and stupas in architecture of the Asian and Eurasian countries, despite the unified “matrix” of their imagery? What Buddhist and geocultural constants lie “behind” the iconography, the system of color symbolism and the technology?

The mission of the symposium is to further develop the classical descriptive regional approach in research of the Buddhist art of Russia, India, China, Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia by identifying the dynamics behind the development of visual diversity within the national art schools. 


Topics for discussion

         Ethical and aesthetic principles in Buddhist Art: a national aspect.

         The “regional and transregional” – the role of great masters in establishing and developing local art traditions.

         Intercultural foundations of major art centers and their impact on the development of regional art schools.

         Iconographic and artistic canon: the history of interrelations at the local territories.

         Buddhist architecture: its unified structure and the diversity of regional forms.

         Transformation of the bodhisattva iconography: historical, mental, and artistic aspects.

         “Sa bdag” in Buddhist culture and art: the universal Buddhist and the geocultural dimensions.

         Sacral specifics of materials, the techniques and the process of making Buddhist art (a regional aspect).


The research of Buddhist art offers extensive opportunities for reflection to the experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. Their research may become a substantial contribution to the art-historical knowledge. We would welcome to our symposium scholars specializing in natural sciences, whose research is relevant, directly or indirectly, to the study of the artefacts of Buddhist culture and art. The exchange between the different academic disciplines will enhance our understanding of new aspects of the multiplicity of meanings embedded in an artwork as a unique wholeness; it will also pave the way for an interdisciplinary approach merging together scholarly, artistic and religious perspectives.