Sacred Art Inspired by Portugal

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Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour

May 26 – September 11, 2016 

Art inspired in Portugal and Europe – made in Asia and sent back again.


This ‘Nanban‘ hanging oratory above is a piece of delicate beauty and of great historical and cultural value for representing the meeting of two peoples geographically so far apart as they are in their cultures, their customs, and religions: Portugal and Japan. Lent by 

This exhibition examines the spread of Christianity through the Asian continent from the 13th through the 20th century, with a special focus on the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, when significant trade and missionary activity occurred. Asian Christian art reveals remarkable cross-cultural connections because it often combines Western ideas with Asian materials and artistic techniques. As the religion spread, local artists re-interpreted well-established Christian themes.

The Asian Civilisations Museum is collaborating with museums and private collections in Portugal, France, Italy, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to bring stunning works of art to Singapore, many for the first time.


Ivories carved in Goa from African Elephants then sent back to Europe.


Hail Mary Bowl


A piece of porcelain of China, Ming Dynasty, with the symbol of the society of Jesus and the arms of Portugal.



A piece of furniture made in the seventeenth century produced in the region of Sindh, India, with the symbolism of the order of the Dominicans.



A piece of Chinese porcelain of China, Ming Dynasty, with symbols of the passion of Christ. Lent from the House Museum Medeiros e Almeida





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