Nita Ambani and Reliance Industries bring six centuries of Indian History to The MET

Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE opens on July 21

Subhadrika Sen Published :  19th July 2023 05:12 PM   |   Published :   |  19th July 2023 05:12 PM
Nita Ambani at the special screening of the exhibition

Nita Ambani at the special screening of the exhibition

The famed Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) is all set to witness Indian history like never before courtesy of Nita Ambani and Reliance Industries Limited. The exhibition on Buddhist art titled Tree & Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE is set to open for the public from July 21 onwards.

Nita Ambani, a strong torch bearer of Indian culture, heritage, and art was named Honorary Trustee of The MET in 2019. She speaks regarding the occasion, “I come from India, the land of the Buddha, and it is a huge honour for me to support ‘Tree & Serpent’ through Reliance Foundation’s partnership with The Met. This historic exhibition traces the origins of early Buddhist art from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD, with over 125 objects from ancient India. With the ‘Tree & Serpent,’ we take immense pride in showcasing the deep-rooted connection between Buddhism and India. The teachings of Buddha are entwined with Indian ethos and continue to shape global thought. I hope people from around the world come and enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience. We remain committed to bringing the best of India to the world, and the best of the world to India.”

Recently, a special preview of the exhibition was arranged at the museum which was attended by Ambani; Max Hollein; Marina Kellen, French director of The MET; Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian ambassador to the United States; Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India; John Guy, curator of Tree & Serpent and many others.

Nita Ambani addressing the audience at the special preview 

The exhibition curates around 125 unique objects from India which highlights the era of transformation through the teaching of Gautam Buddha. It focuses on art in its various forms including the imageries and architecture of stupas, sculptures, visual storytelling, and symbolic representations which connect the history of Buddhism to India. the exhibition also plays with the symbols ‘tree’ and ‘serpent’ which are the primary motifs of Buddhist art reflecting the Bodhi tree and the protective snake.

The Reliance Industries under Nita Ambani’s leadership has been a vivid supported of The Met through various exhibitions including exhibitions by artists Nasreen Mohamedi, Breuer, Raghubir Singh’s Modernism on the Ganges, Mrinalini Mukherjee’s Phenomenal Nature and others. The Reliance Foundation has also sponsored major exhibitions and events in India including The Elephanta Festival. The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) has given a new lease of life to the art, culture, and heritage of the country and has paved the way for the same to be displayed and discussed on a global platform. 

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