Dunhuang Study Tour

17 October 2014

In March 2014 Mr. Chang Jiahuang, who is the representative of the center of Dunhuang modern caves, invited teachers and students from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts to visit Dunhuang and proposed an artistic dialogue between the two parties. The subject of the trip is to study the Dunhuang caves (among others, the Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas).

Situated at a strategic point along the Silk Route, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the 492 cells and cave sanctuaries in Mogao are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art.

The program was successfully completed in September 2014. In addition to the knowledge and experience they gathered during the trip, the group was able to create their own mural paintings in one of the caves of Dunhuang. Two paintings were created, one features the style of Art Nouveau, while the other summons the ancient symbol of the „Tree of Life” and the „World Tree”.

About Dunhuang:

Carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River, the Mogao Caves south-east of the Dunhuang oasis, Gansu Province, comprise the largest, most richly endowed, and longest used treasure house of Buddhist art in the world. It was first constructed in 366AD and represents the great achievement of Buddhist art from the 4th to the 14th century. 492 caves are presently preserved, housing about 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2,000 painted sculptures. Cave 302 of the Sui dynasty contains one of the oldest and most vivid scenes of cultural exchanges along the Silk Road, depicting a camel pulling a cart typical of trade missions of that period. Caves 23 and 156 of the Tang dynasty show workers in the fields and a line of warriors respectively and in the Song dynasty Cave 61, the celebrated landscape of Mount Wutai is an early example of artistic Chinese cartography, where nothing has been left out – mountains, rivers, cities, temples, roads and caravans are all depicted.

Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440