Asian art

Buddhist arts in Indonesia

buddhist arts in indonesia

View our Buddha Statues in our gallery

Indonesia, as other Southeast Asian countries, was also strongly influenced by Indian art and culture from the 1st century. At that period, both Hinduism and Buddhism spread in Indonesia but the first to enter Indonesia was Hinduism and later Buddhism spread in the country. The spread of Buddhism was started with the trading activity, which began in the early 1st century on the maritime Silk Road. In the 8th -13th century, Sri Vijaya, who had adopted Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, ruled western Indonesia, especially Sumatra and Java islands, but later on, the empire became more powerful and dominated most of the areas around the Southeast Asian peninsula through maritime power. With the expansion of the territory, Sri Vijaya Empire spread Mahayana Buddhist art to other areas. It is recorded that numerous statues of Mahayana Bodhisattvas from this period are believed to be strong refinement and technical sophistication.

buddha statue

It is recorded that in the 7th century, Chinese Buddhist monk, I-tsing paid a visit to the pilgrimage site in India. While on his journey, he witnessed powerful empire of Srivijaya. He learned that the empire had helped the people to know and understand about Buddhism in that region.

Another monk, Dharmakirti, born in around the 7th century in Sumatra became a revered scholar monk in Srivijaya. He later moved to India to become a teacher at the Nalanda Univerity and as well as the poet. He has done lots of notable works in the Buddhism sector and one of them is reinterpreted the work of Dignaga, the pioneer of Buddhist Logic. He was influential among Brahmins as well as Buddhists. His theories are normative in Tibet and are still studied in the present day as a part of the basic monastic curriculum.

With these references, it can be assumed the Srivijaya Empire was the largest Buddhist Empire ever formed in the Indonesian history.

Buddhist arts in Indonesia

buddha statues

It is assumed that the oldest Buddhist temple in Indonesia is Batujaya stupas complex situated in Karawang, West Java. It is estimated that the oldest relic in Batujaya was constructed in the 2nd century CE while the latest one was constructed in 12th century CE.

Another important Buddhist monument in Indonesia is Borobudur temple located in central Java. This temple is regarded as the largest Buddhist structure in the world. It is believed that the temple is built around 780 - 850 AD. The design of this temple is based on the Buddhist concept of the universe. Borobudur is decorated with long series of bas-reliefs. Mandala temple, another Buddhist temple in central Java houses 505 Antique Buddha statues in seating posture. The temple also has unique bell-shaped stupa with Buddha statue inside of it. Central Java has another important Buddhist pilgrimage site, Sewu Temple. In this temple, statues of Bodhisattva, Tara, and Kinnara are installed with very graceful and serene expression. Along with the statues, there are bas-reliefs as well.

View our collections of statues and arts in our gallery

In Sumatra, there also the Buddhist temples installed with antique Buddhist arts. The most famous temples are Muaro Jambi, Muara Takus, and Bahal temple. Apart from these temples, there are numerous statues or inscriptions from the earlier period of Indonesian Hindi-Buddhist Kingdoms.

The statues of Vairocana Buddha and Bodhisattva- Vajrapani, and Padmapani in Mendut temple are also fine examples from Sri Vijaya Empire. Another beautiful example of Javanese Buddhist art is the serene and delicate statue of Prajnaparamita which was created during the period of Singhasari Kingdom.

Even though Sri Vijaya Empire was powerful and was engaged in spreading Buddhism through Buddhist arts, most of the Buddhist arts were built during the Sailendra dynasty in Java.

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Our collections of Buddha statues and arts

Sandstone Ganesha statue

Sandstone Ganesha statue

175 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

1450 euro
Antique Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique Burmese Shan Buddha

350 euro
Large andesite stone Buddha statue

Large andesite stone Buddha statue

2500 euro
Antique Burmese Shan Buddha statue

Antique Burmese Shan Buddha statue

125 euro
Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique Burmese Shan Buddha

1450 euro
Old sandstone Absara lady statue

Old sandstone Absara lady statue

1500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

2500 euro
Bronze Vajrasattva statue

Bronze Vajrasattva statue

150 euro
Old bronze Nepali Chenrezig statue

Old bronze Nepali Chenrezig statue

3250 euro
Antique Burmese Shan Buddha statue

Antique Burmese Shan Buddha statue

2350 euro
Old bronze Nepali Jambhala statue

Old bronze Nepali Jambhala statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

400 euro
Large andesite stone Buddha statue

Large andesite stone Buddha statue

2500 euro
Bronze Nepali Aparmita Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Aparmita Buddha statue

1250 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha

Old bronze Nepali Buddha

275 euro
Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

2750 euro
Antique Burmese offering vessel

Antique Burmese offering vessel

1450 euro
Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

150 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

400 euro
Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

275 euro
Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

650 euro
Andesite stone Buddha statue

Andesite stone Buddha statue

500 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

2500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Chenrezig statue

Old bronze Nepali Chenrezig statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

2250 euro
Large old wooden Mandalay Buddha

Large old wooden Mandalay Buddha

2250 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

2500 euro
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