Art de Đông Sơn, Asie du Sud-Est, dans les collections Barbier-Mueller (FRENCH EDITION ONLY)
Published by the Barbier-Mueller Museum
144 pages, 149 colour illustrations
Exhibited today for the first time at the Barbier-Mueller Museum in its entirety, this collection of Ðông Sơn art is the most important known, outside the Vietnamese national collections. It consists of prestige or sacred objects, fighting instruments and ornaments testifying to a culture that takes its name from the village of Ðông Sơn located in the province of Thanh Hoa, in the north of present-day Vietnam, where numerous archaeological remains have been unearthed. These and those from many other sites attest to an intense artistic activity responding to the demands of the aristocracy of kingdoms settled in the valleys of the Red, Ma and Black rivers, which provided them with wealth and a means of communication.
The Ðông Sơn culture, which flourished between the 4th century BC and the 4th century AD over a fairly large area, gave rise to its own art and style, which was very often influenced by the traditions of neighbouring southern China. Pieces of Ðông Sơn or resembling Ðông Sơn have been found in mainland and island Southeast Asia, notably in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, the result of the commercial and technical exchanges that take place in this geographical area and which suggest the existence in these regions of “Ðông Sơn traditions”.
The texts and notes by Dr Van Viet Nguyen (Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Prehistory, Hanoi) offer a contextual reading and a stylistic description of the objects on display, while the contribution by Pierre Baptiste (General Curator at the Musée Guimet, Paris) offers a study of the relations that the Ðông Sơn culture maintained with China.
May the visitors to the exhibition and readers of this catalogue experience a delight similar to that felt by the collector Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, who devoted a sustained interest to these pieces with their delicate lines and refined decoration, produced thanks to a remarkable technical mastery.