Buddhist Art in the Mogao Caves | In Conversation With Dr. Neil Schmid
Buddhism came to China through many routes. It brought not just a philosophy, but a cultural milieu of art, sculpture, festivals, and literature. Nowhere is the influence of these different strands of Buddhism on Chinese art more visible than in the Mogao Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, just outside the city of Dunhuang.
Join us as we talk to Scholar-in-Residence at Dunhuang Academy, Dr. Neil Schmid, live at the Mogao Caves. We’ll learn about the history of the caves and how the Buddhist art that adorns the walls tells the stories of the monks that once lived there.
Dr. Neil Schmid is the Scholar-in-Residence at the Dunhuang Academy and he is one of the world’s leading authorities on medieval Buddhism’s visual culture. He studied Chinese and East Asian Studies at Georgetown University, Waseda University in Tokyo, L’Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, and finally earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. He specializes in the Silk Road and Buddhist Studies with an emphasis on the archaeological sites of Dunhuang.
Dr. Neil currently lives and works in Dunhuang, taking WildChina clients on behind-the-scenes tours of the Mogao Caves when he gets the chance – guiding them back through history to discover the origins of Buddhist art and what the ancient carvings and paintings mean.