Taking Shape: Ceramics in Southeast Asia

April 1, 2007 – November 27, 2011

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

This exhibition of approximately 200 diverse and visually striking ceramic vessels from Southeast Asia explores the migration of pots from their makers to their users. This exhibition also illuminates the dimensions of international trade that brought southern Chinese ceramics into mainland Southeast Asia and from there reaching distant markets -- from Japan to Turkey. Spanning four millennia on invention and exchange, from the prehistoric period to the present, the vessels on view were crafted for rituals, burials, domestic use, and trade. These clay pots and jars, made permanent by firing in bonfires or kilns, form the most enduring record of human activities, interactions, and ideas about form and decoration in mainland Southeast Asia.