Entering the first gallery of the Art of East Asia one sees funerary objects buried for centuries in family tombs of inhabitants of Korea, China and Japan. Functional objects of great beauty were buried with the dead for everyday and ceremonial use in the afterlife. Here the jade, ceramic and metalwork objects illustrate that profound commonalities existed among diverse peoples despite cultural and aesthetic differences.
In the second gallery we encounter works from Buddhist temples celebrating the life of the Buddha and bodhisattvas, enlightened beings that postponed nirvana to assist others to achieve enlightenment. Notice the saffron color of the walls of this gallery that echo the robes worn by Buddhist monks.