South Asia and Southeast Asia gallery, Oriental Art Museum in Turin

The South Asia gallery houses collections from three major cultural geographic areas: Gandhara, India and Indochina.

This collection includes artifacts from the Buddhist-inspired artistic production of Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century.

Gandhara is the geographical term for an area between Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. The same term denotes the Buddhist-inspired artistic production that flourished in the area between the second century BCE and the fifth century CE. In addition to the friezes from the great Butkara stupa, that was discovered in the Fifties by the excavations of the Piemonte section of IsMEO, the Gandhara section displays a series of recently purchased schist, stucco and terracotta statues.

In this rich collection there are many sculptures, bronzes, terracotta and paintings on cotton from the area of Kashmir and Eastern Pakistan, dating from the second century BC to the 19th century.

This section displays artwork inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism from Kashmir, India and East Pakistan. The stonework, bronzes, pottery and paintings on cotton span a period from the second century BCE to the 19th century. The Indian art rooms contain reliefs and sculptures from the second century BCE to the fourteenth century CE, and include examples of Shunga, Kushana, Gupta and medieval Indian art.

South-East Asia
A collection that reflects the marked Indian influence of artistic production in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, while highlighting iconographic characteristics typical of these countries.

Southeast Asia Despite reflecting strong Indian influences, artwork from the area that includes Thailand, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Cambodia expresses iconographical conventions and stylistic features that are determined by the cultural history of these countries. The Southeast Asia rooms contain Thai, Cambodian and Burmese art as well as important sculptures from the Khmer period.

Highlights works
South Asia and Southeast Asia gallery on first floor, showcase Statuary in stone, bronze, wood; from the 2nd century BC to the 19th century AD.

Gandhara collection
Girale di pipal, 1st-2nd century AD
Head of gautama siddharta, 1st-2nd century AD
Buddha head, 4th century AD (?)
Couples of characters between lives, 1st-2nd century AD
Standing bodhisattva, 2nd century
Relief with indo-persepolitan capital, 1st-2nd century AD
Buddha and asceta, 1st-2nd century AD
The defeat of mara, 1st-2nd century AD
HeAD of man beared (sileno or atlas), 2nd-3rd century AD

India collection
ADoration of krshna, 17th-18th century
Makara, 2nd century AD
Vishnu heAD, 7th-8th century AD
Shalabhanjika, 11th century AD
Lotus flower, 2nd century AD
Dancing saptamatrika, 11th century AD
Architectural fragment with shiva and a vyala, 12 century AD
Jnana dakshinamurti, 12 century AD

Southeast Asia collection
Buddha shakyamuni on the lion throne, 16th century
Globular vessel with small opening, 10-13 Century
Buddha lying down in parinirvana, 19th century

Oriental Art Museum in Turin
The Museum of Oriental Art (Italian: Museo d’Arte Orientale, also known by the acronym MAO) is a museum contains one of the most important collections of Asian art in Italy. The collection works represents cultural and artistic traditions from across the Asian continent.

MAO, the Museum of Oriental Art, is located in the historic 18th-century seat of Palazzo Mazzonis. The museum’s heritage encompasses some 1500 works, in part from the pre6thous collections amassed by various city institutions, in part acquired in the past few years. The Museum’s exhibition layout is di6thded into f4the cultural areas: South Asia, China, Japan, the Himalayan Region and Islamic countries. This layout corresponds naturally with the building’s physical structure which is di6thded into the same number of interlinked but structurally separate exhibition spaces used to house the various sections.

The museum opened on December 5, 2008, with the merger of the Asian collection of the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art at the Palazzo Madama and contributions from Turin City Hall, the Region of Piedmont, the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli and Compagnia di San Paolo. Architect Andrea Bruno oversaw the restoration of the Palazzo Mazzonis to house the newly formed museum.

The exhibits now housed in the new Oriental Art Museum in Turin are mostly works already present in the city’s Ci6thc Art Museum. Others, however, were donated to the museum by the Piedmont Region, as well as by the Agnelli Foundation and the Compagnia di San Paolo.

The museum‘s exhibition space, which has been designed to host f4the different thematic areas, such as the entrance hall where you can observe typical Japanese Zen gardens. Each area, from this point on, enjoys a different characterization of the space and the works on display. On the ground floor you can admire artifacts from South Asia, most of which are very ancient, and from South-East Asia. On the first floor there are Chinese-made artifacts, including bronze and terracotta works dating back to 3,000 BC, and in the appropriate rooms, it is possible to admire numerous artifacts of Japanese art. But that is not all. In fact, on the third floor of the Oriental Art Museum of Turin there is also a collection of objects from the Himalayan region, while the top floor is entirely dedicated to Islamic art.