Southeast Asian

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Scope note
Refers to the cultures of the region of Asia situated east of the Indian subcontinent and south of China, encompassing the long-historied and ethnically diverse cultures of a continental mainland and a series of archipelagoes 700 miles to the east and south of the continent. In general, the arts in the region predominantly reflect religion, particularly the personality and character of Buddha and the Hindu gods, and history, particularly glorified heroes of national and mythic pasts. The Buddha image remains the central motif in sculptural and painting styles, while other minor or native figures from Buddhist, Islamic, and Hindu scriptures are sometimes reflected in mural works. Art in the region features tribal geometric and spiral patterns, Indian floral designs, and animal imagery based on local mythologies. A general penchant for themes of fantasy, human and divine beauty, and celebratory sensuality pervades the art of this region.
Southeast Asian
Accepted term: 17-Jun-2024