Indian craftsmanship meets Japanese influence – Early modern Luso-Asian religious artifacts manifest cross-cultural encounters

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Early modern Catholic-European presence in Asia, under the patronage of the Portuguese Crown, linked varied ports of South, Southeast and East Asia via the Luso-Asian networks of maritime trading routes, commercial ventures, diplomatic relations, and missionary work. On various levels resulted manifold circulations that promoted exchange and mutual influences in the scope of European-Asian and inter-regional encounters. Heterogeneous artifacts and new artistic styles emerged that well illustrate cultural, religious, and artistic intermingling promoted by cross-cultural interaction. Several examples of lacquered Luso-Asian religious items ordered and employed all above by the Society of Jesus in their mission in China and elsewhere manifest present craft contribution and stylistic influences from India and Japan, even not resulting of direct India-Japan linkages. The Jesuits, the most active and influential congregation of the Catholic missionaries promoted the circulation of people, merchandise, and artifacts. To equip their various missions, they commissioned liturgical implements to evangelize local populations, often taking advantage of the already existing production of devotional items settled around Goa and local lacquer arts of Japan or China, using the maritime trading routes that linked Lisbon, Goa, Macao, and Nagasaki. Thus, fascinating creations that combine contributions of different origins arose, only decipherable through closer analysis.
Period11 Feb 2023
Event titleDiscovering India-Japan civilizational ties and Southeast Asia connectivities
Event typeConference
LocationNew Delhi, IndiaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational