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Symposium at Asia Society

The Court of Yama, God of Death; Attributed to Gursaha (India, active circa 1800); India, Himachal Pradesh, Guler, circa 1800; Ink and watercolor on paper; 19 1/4 x 23 7/8 in. (48.89 x 60.64 cm); Gift of Paul F. Walter (M.75.113.8)

Symposium: To Hell and Back
An exploration of artistic expressions of the afterlife across Asia

In person, Friday, April 14 – Saturday, April 15 at Asia Society

Hell has been embodied and portrayed in terrifying, bizarre, and occasionally humorous incarnations across religions and cultures for millennia. Whether considered as places of eternal or finite punishment, underworlds provide a rich setting for a potent cast of characters that have caught the imagination of artists and patrons who have shaped the visual cultures of Asia’s systems of belief, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam.

Hell is a universal concept, yet few have an understanding of the breadth and depth of the religious and cultural traditions that ponder the afterlife. We hope that this exhibition and symposium brings new dimensions to some of the notions of hell in Asian art, faith, and culture.

Join scholars in the fields of religion, theology, art history, and anthropology for an interdisciplinary symposium on hell(s) that will explore artistic expressions of the afterlife across religious traditions in Asia. Symposium admission includes all sessions, cocktail reception, museum admission, and performance tickets.

For the schedule of events and to buy tickets, click here.