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Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell
Comparative Hell

Comparative Hell

Edited by Adriana Proser


Publishing 6th Jan 2023
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  • Seventy exceptional and visually stunning Asian artworks, ranging in date from the 8th to 21st-century, are reproduced in dazzling color plates in this catalog
  • Objects are drawn from public and private collections based in the United States and Europe
  • Historical portrayals alongside contemporary scenes of hell, revealing the differences, convergences, and influences of religious beliefs, archetypes, and artistic practices across cultures and time
  • Published to accompany an exhibition at Asia Society, from February 7, to May 7, 2023
Full Description

Contemporary popular culture is filled with demonic imagery – from vampires to Goth girls. These subjects in popular culture have roots in eastern and western traditions of depicting hell and its inhabitants, however, few have an understanding of the breadth and depth of religious traditions that make up the foundation of these contemporary phenomena. Comparative Hell
is the first comprehensive, fully illustrated catalog to present traditions of hell imagery and their relationship to the development of ancient and contemporary visual materials in Asia.

Through essays by world-renowned scholars of art history and religious studies, as well as detailed object entries and breath-taking images, this cross-cultural volume of artworks explores the common human desire for spiritual transformation and the role of the concept of hell in shaping the visual cultures of Asia’s dominant systems of belief: Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, and Islam. The publication explores differences in conceptions of the afterlife and artistic practices from religion to religion and culture to culture, organised around the themes of the binary of Hell and Heaven or Paradise; Judgement; Punishment; and Salvation.

About the Author

Dr. Adriana Proser is John H. Foster Senior Curator for Traditional Asian Art at Asia Society.

Phyllis Granoff is the Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions at Yale University.

Christiane Gruber is Professor of Islamic Art in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

D. Max Moerman is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Goh Geok Yian is Associate Chair (Research) and Associate Professor of History at the School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Michelle Yun is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society Museum.

Officina Libraria
Publish date
6th Jan 2023
USA & Canada
9.02 in x 10.75 in
256 Pages
95 color, 5 b&w
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