Thomas Murray’s new book “Rarities: The Himalayas to Hawaii“ proposes to follow the artistic traditions of the ancient migratory and trade routes of the Austronesians, South-East Asian Bronze Age, and Hindu-Buddhist peoples.
Just as people, languages, religious belief systems, and technology can travel great distances and yet remain related owing to the conservative nature of indigenous societies, styles of art move as well, and sculptural styles can evolve. Certain recurring iconographic themes demonstrate how connected our shared human experience truly is, and how archetypes may be identified and tracked across great distances, whether by a process of cultural diffusion or as subliminal products of the shared collective unconscious. This book takes up those questions and contemplates the nature of aesthetic quality, religious philosophy, and the relation between art and the human condition.
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