How to Make the Universe Right: The Art of the Shaman in Vietnam and Southern China

Exhibition Website

Jul 30 2017 - Jan 7 2018

How to Make the Universe Right presents a large selection of rare religious scrolls, ceremonial clothing, and ritual objects of the Sán Dìu, Tày, Yao, and other populations of Vietnam and southern China. These painted, embroidered, and carved works of art, most of which date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, provide the material foundation for the regional manifestations of shamanic practice most prominently associated with Daoism.  

Shamans serve as intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds and between the community and deities, in order to make the universe right through healing, balancing the forces of nature, and communicating with ancestors. The tenets and deities of Daoism alongside aspects of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism, influence the content and appearance of many of the art works. The exhibition also features a shrine resembling those constructed in homes for ceremonies, a film on contemporary shamanic practices in the region, and a display of scrolls chosen to highlight their recent conservation and what this has revealed.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Asian
  • Sacred
  • Various artists

Exhibition Venues & Dates