Exhibition: Created with sound – Music and dance in visual arts of Asia and Oceania (The Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum)

Date of event:   24/11/2022 − 03/09/2023

Title: Created with sound – Music and dance in visual arts of Asia and Oceania
Duration: 24 November 2022 to 3 September 2023
Institution: The Andrzej Wawrzyniak Asia and Pacific Museum, Warszawa, Poland

This multisensory exhibition tries to determine whether the available artistic techniques are potent enough to capture and freeze the fleeting phenomena of music and dance. We also want to find out if visual artworks with musical subjects can be useful to researchers studying the musical culture and its development? The display includes around 170 exhibits from the Asia and Pacific Museum’s collection, hailing from different countries of Asia and Oceania, created by professional and folk artists using various techniques and materials. A separate section of the exhibition shows works by Polish artists inspired by the music and dance of Asia and Oceania. Visitors will see art by Nyoman Gunarsa, K.K. Hebbar, Andrzej Kobzdej, Roman Opałka, Andrzej Strumiłło, and more.

The exhibition Created with Sound starts with a historical introduction that covers reproductions of some of the oldest depictions of musicians and dancers hailing from Asia and Oceania. It then goes on to discuss different groups of musical instruments and dances explored by Asian visual artists who were active mostly in the 20th century. Next, it explores the cultural contexts in which music and dance function in different communities, focusing in particular on such aspects as religion, festivities, everyday life, war, and hunting. The last part is dedicated to the work of Polish artists inspired by Asian performing arts.

Executed in various techniques (paintings, drawings, sculptures, paper cuts), artworks with musical subjects are a testament to the role that music and dance play in culture. While some are artistic visions loosely connected with the reality, others are documents that record situations witnessed by the author and can serve as sources of knowledge for historians, musicologists, sociologists, and philosophers. Achievements of all of these disciplines are taken into account by researchers involved in the study of depictions of music and dance in visual arts, or musical iconography.

For more information, please visit the website here.

Image: Goddess Saraswati, India, West Bengal, 1st half of the 20th c., polychromed clay.