University Library Leiden

Witte Singel 27, Leiden


Leiden University Libraries

26 January-9 May - A Buddha in The Backyard – Asia as Source of Inspiration

Kung fu and taekwondo, sushi and curry, Bollywood and Pokémon; they are all familiar concepts. A Buddha statue in the garden is the most natural thing in the world. The latest novel by Haruki Murakami is a bestseller. Acupuncture is a well-known form of traditional medicine. Young people read manga, and films from India get attention of film lovers. Asia is omnipresent.


The exhibition presents books, films and articles that originally come from and demonstrate the interaction with Asia, such as the visit of the Beatles to India. ‘Asia’ is also subject to reinterpretation. Buddha’s and Hindu gods are not designed as a garden decoration. Asian cuisine is more popular than ever, but in Europe generally softened in flavor. The exhibition shows some of these complex relationships.


Highlights include a Japanese acupuncture chart from the middle of the seventeenth century, a Hindu journey altar from India, a Chinese handwriting with massage techniques for children and an annotated edition of The Tale of Genji, the Japanese classic of the 11th century.


This exhibition is the first of a series of three exhibitions in Asia Leiden Year, organized by Leiden University Libraries

Start time: 16.00 p.m.