Arts of Asia Fall 2015: Asia's Storied Traditions

Arts of Asia Lecture Series
Scene from the epic Ramayana: Kumbhakarna battles the monkeys, approx. 1075–1125. Northeastern Thailand. Sandstone. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection , B66S7. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Arts of Asia Fall 2015: Asia's Storied Traditions

Repeats every week every Friday until Fri Dec 04 2015 except Fri Nov 27 2015.
August 21, 2015
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Samsung Hall
$175 Society members, $200 non-members (for the series after Museum admission) $20 per lecture drop-in (after Museum admission, subject to availability)

Videos of the lectures are now available on the Asian Art Musem's Apple Podcasts. Click here to view the available videos from this lecture series.

Register now for the Fall semester of the Arts of Asia lecture series! The Fall 2015 Arts of Asia series, “Asia’s Storied Traditions,” will explore narrative usage in Asian art – how myths, legends, histories, and moral precepts have been transmitted through visual means. Topics for discussion will range from the sculptural reliefs and murals used to educate pilgrims at famous religious sites (Sanchi, Dunhuang, etc.) to works created primarily for entertainment (Ramayana treatments, story depictions in Edo Ukiyo-e, the Shahnama album paintings created for Shah Tamasp, etc.). Contemporary storytelling will also be addressed via lectures on Bollywood and the manga produced by San Francisco’s Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama.

As always, a distinguished roster of prominent scholars and curators will be delivering these lectures (see list below). 

Study Guides for the lectures will be posted below as they become available. Click the link to view and download the PDF. 

Click here for a reading list from the Asian Art Museum's Library.


August 21

Series Introduction Study Guide

Puranas: The Inspiration for Mythic Tales Carved on Ancient Hindu Monuments

Mary-Ann Milford-Lutzker, Mills College


August 28

The Moral of the Story: Narrative Art in Early China Study Guide

Patricia Berger, UC Berkeley


September 4

Storytelling With Pictures: An Asian Odyssey Study Guide

Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania


September 11

Displaying the Past: Pictorial Depictions of the Buddhist Myths and Legends of the Kathmandu Valley Study Guide

Alexander Von Rospatt, UC Berkeley


September 18

The Badal Mahal at Bundi: A World Painted for Rajput Princes Study Guide

Milo Beach, Former Director Freer & Sackler


September 25

“Where Is This Story Going?”: The Paradiegetic Pleasures of Popular Hindi Cinema Study Guide

Ajay Gehlawat, Sonoma State University


October 2

Storyworlds: Architecture and Embodied Cognition in Japanese Narrative Scrolls Study Guide

Melissa McCormick, Harvard University


October 9

Telling the Tales of Rama Pre-handout Study Guide

Forrest McGill, AAM


October 16

“Reading” the Ramayana Through Javanese Temple Reliefs Study Guide

Natasha Reichle, AAM


October 23

Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama and the Manga-Comics Nexus Study Guide

Fred Schodt, Independent Scholar and Author


October 30

Nine Cloud Dream, Nectar Ritual, and Much More in Korean Art Study Guide

Kumja Paik Kim, AAM


November 6

Stories Old and Untold in Edo Period Art: Implied and Informed Narratives Study Guide

Timon Screech, SOAS


November 13

Text and Image: Early Buddhist Narrative Sculpture from Northern India and Gandhara Study Guide

Kurt Behrendt, Metropolitan Museum


November 20

The Same Me That Stands Here Now: Jataka Tales on Tenth Century Reliquaries Study Guide

Eugene Wang, Harvard University


November 27

No class, Thanksgiving break


December 4

The Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp: A 16th Century Royal Persian Manuscript Study Guide

Sheila Canby, Metropolitan Museum

Registration Policies

The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.

For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.

Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.