Burmese Design & Architecture
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It is the first book to showcase the amazing diversity of architecture, design and art found in Burma (Myanmar). Ranging for the monumental pagodas of Pagan (Bagan) to the architectural heritage of Rangoon (Yangon), religious as well as contemporary secular buildings are presented in rich detail. A series of authoritative essays by archaeological experts highlight the major influences sand styles found throughout the country, while chapters on Myanmar's rich art and craft traditions provide a wealth of information on Buddha images, lacquererware, painting, ceramics, woodcarving, bronzes, textiles, costumes and much more.
Burmese design, heavily influenced by its proximity to China and India, is a many-layered thing, interwoven with spiritual, religious and political messages. Burmese Design & Architecture takes an in-depth look at the entire span of Burmese design, from arts and crafts to both religious and secular architecture.
produced earlier, iron and bronze were also produced together in what appears to be the late Neolithic era. A bronze hook, along with iron rod s and knives, dated to about 460 BC, was found at Taungthaman (a site in modern Amarapura). Other items included bone or stone needles and spindle whorls, attesting to the existence of weaving skills and garment production at Neolithic settlements. 1. A typical example of the Burmese artisan's devotion to Buddhism, an antique manuscript cabinet
the request of the Rakhine king, he had Thagyamin (lndra) and the divine architect Visvakarman, create an image in his likeness. This image, Mahamuni, was installed in a pagoda by that name at the city of Dhanyawadi, and Rakh.ine became known as "The Land of the Great Image". Large pink sandstone plaques of circa the 5th century, found recently at Selagiri Hill and depicting in relief scenes from the Life of the Buddha, bear Gupta and Ajanta influence. Stelas of the same material and period at
Kyaik De-ap pagoda (an old Mon pagoda in Yangon, destroyed during World W ar II). A fragment and a Buddha image in the Shweizayan pagoda, Thaton, both w ith a hintha on each shou lder, have eyes downcast, a sweet smile, a narrow band on the fo rehead, and tight curls in a grid pattern term inating in a layered ushnisha; th e antaravasaka has a belt and central fold. All the above are characteri stics of Khmer Bayon art (late 1 2th-early 13th centu ry), and probably result from the proximity of
weavers. Tang Chinese chroniclers noted that during the second half of the first millennium of this era, th e Pyu , in what is now Central Myanmar, wore cloth of cotton. Murals, sculpture and glazed plaques from the late 11th century onwards depict a wide variety of textile designs and modes of dress. The most distinctive weaving technique is a tapestry weave employing lun-taya, "one hundred shuttles" (but often about twice that) over and under warp threads to create weft acheik (wavy patterns).
glows in th e dimly lit interior of the Shwenandaw monastery in Mandalay. It sits upon an elaborately carved th.ron e, gilded and adorned with mirrors. The massive teak columns and carved surround are also gilded, aptly recalling its name "royal golden" mo nastery. A saing-b a ung, th e form of a wild ox's haunch, curves on both sides at the top of the surround. The roundels fl anking the Buddha contain carvings of a peacock and rabbit, symbols of the sun and moon. 2. Many of Myanmar's sple ndid