Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: Asian Visual and Performing Arts, Part II

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photo of a sitting monk statue
Small bronze statue of Losang Gyatso, the Fifth Dalai.

Art of Asia Home Page


The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has a noteworthy collection of Asian art. Their site has hundreds of images from the collection. The focus is Chinese and Japanese works of art, including paintings and prints. The images are easily accessible through the links at the bottom of the home page.

Asia Contemporary Art Show


Over fifty art galleries have posted works of contemporary Asian artists who are taking part in the Asia Contemporary Art Show of 2013. Each gallery has submitted eight works, providing views of hundreds of contemporary artists.

On Asia


Although the business of this site is to sell stock photography, over 210,000 Asian images can be explored here. Perhaps the best way to navigate the site is to click on the “Stories” link on the left side, where photos are grouped by categories, such as religion and history.

Islamic Influence on Southeast Asian Visual Arts, Literature, and Performance


As the title indicates, this article from the Asia Society provides details of the Islamic influence on Southeast Asian arts beginning over 1,000 years ago. The focus of the article is the influence on Indonesia, specifically the island of Java, from the writing traditions to puppetry.

Through Asian Eyes


Nikon has sponsored four exhibits that highlight the emerging photographers of Asia. All four exhibits are available on this site; the latest one also includes several videographers. In addition to showing examples of their works, there are short biographies and interviews for each photographer.

Trans Asia Photography Review


This journal is published twice a year, and its contents are available online. The Reviewstudies both contemporary and historic photography from Asia. In addition to the individual issues, the site has an invaluable list of resources, produced by Raymond Lum, providing links to many photography sites. It can be found here:


Ukiyo-e Gallery


photo of a painting of tree branches obscuring a view of a castle in fog
Okayama Castle by Hasui Kawase. Source: The Ukiyo-e Gallery.

This is another example of a commercial site that offers useful information about visual arts, in this case, the ukiyo-e of Japan. There are hundreds of examples of prints, mostly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If one is interested in a particular artist, the site map (link in lower left) organizes the prints alphabetically by artist.

Photo Japan


This is a stock photography site consisting solely of photos from Japan, mostly from contemporary sources but also from prior years, including the Meiji period. If one clicks on an individual image, a long list of categories appears on the left side, allowing a search by subject.


Museum Nasional Indonesia



The first URL leads to the home page of Indonesia’s national museum. Here one learns the history and extent of the collections of the museum. The pages are written in Indonesian, so use of the Chrome browser with its easy translation add-on is recommended. The second URL provides a number of images from the museum, easily navigated with a slider at the bottom of the page.


Hahoe Mask Museum


Masks in Korea have a long history. The masks of Hahoeare now designated as national treasures. The site for the Hahoe Mask Museum has several articles (accompanied by images) about the characteristics and symbolic meanings of the masks.


Music from East Asia


This is an hour-and-a-half video filmed of a 2009 concert at Wesleyan University. It is comprised of performances of the music of Korea, China, and Japan, including Taiko drumming.

Performing Arts of Asia


This teaching guide of more than forty pages was published by The Seattle Times in collaboration with the University of Washington. There are several detailed lesson plans of activities, focus questions, and appropriate handouts for students.


Chinese Traditions Still Thriving


Each year in June, China celebrates Cultural Heritage Day. This web page collects several videos of dance and vocal performances from the Cultural Heritage Day held in 2011.

Chinese Folk Dances


This article details the history of ethnic dances in China and describes several traditional folk dances, including the Dragon Dance and the Lion Dance. In the left frame of this page are links to several other performing arts, such as puppetry and acrobatics.


Performing Arts Video Clips


In the Library of the Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts is a large selection of video clips. The clips focus on both the dance and music of India; there are also recitations of poetry, some of it from as far back as the eleventh century.

Indian Performing Arts


This site is sponsored by India’s Ministry of Culture. With the links on the right side of the page, one can explore the worlds of dance, music, theater, and puppetry in India.

100 Years of Bollywood


This series of twenty short videos traces the history of film in India with an emphasis on the major figures who brought movies to the forefront in India’s cultural history. Each video is approximately two minutes.


Bunraku Puppet Theater


In four minutes, this video presents a short history of bunrakuand a concise description of the actions of the three puppeteers and the musicians during a performance. There are also links to other forms of Japanese theater, such as gagaku, on the right.

Tamasaburo YouTube Videos

photo of a woman in kimono and umbrella. she has maiko makeup on.
Screen capture from the video, Tamasaburo “Sagi Musume”.


This collection of YouTube videos includes excerpts of performances and interviews with Tamasaburo, one of the most celebrated kabuki performers. One can go directly to two interviews here:


Philippine Folk and Ethnic Dances


This is a playlist of over thirty videos of a variety of ethnic dances of the Philippines. Several of the videos have portions of performances by Bayanihan—The Philippine National Folk Dance Company.