From April 10 to July 15, 2018, the Musée du Quai Branly gets interested in Asian Ghosts and Hells thanks to a large exhibition held in the Garden Gallery. Spanning several centuries and studying many societies, the Musée du Quai Branly offers a panorama of beliefs on ghosts, Hells and the world of spirits!
If in Christianity spirits can join heavens, in Asia, ghosts "enever die". Spirit cult in Thailand, vengeful cat-women, hungry spirits that return from the dead, jumping vampires, Asian people are fascinated by life after death (we’ll learn more about Buddhists who assume there are spirits in waiting between two reincarnations). This Asian Ghosts and Hells exhibition is here to tell us everything!
Within the exhibition rooms on the ground floor, divided into three themed-sections, the Musée du Quai Branly introduces us to the bestiary of Hells (as seen from Asian countries), then to the varied wandering ghosts and spirits and ends on the funerary rites and spirit cult in Thailand, China and Vietnam.
The staging is really well done: dark walls, the tour finally combines millenary masks, etchings, books (including mangas), movie abstracts and body reproductions.
At the beginning of the exhibition, we find the vision of hells (a purgatory where the deads atone for their faults) in the different countries of Central Asia and South-western Asia. We discover illustrated rolls of the Sutra of the Ten Kings, dating back the 10th century and found in Dunhang (China), which reveal a portrayal of hells to "warn men" about what they will become after death.
In China, underground hells reflect the medieval judicial system: hells evolve around 10 places presided by over by king-judges, assisted by clerics and torturing demons. These officals of hell record the actions of the living on registers for their judgement and dissect Karma! In Japan, the demons of hell (oni) are horned, dressed in a loincloth made of tiger skin and armed with a club, a wonderful overview of what to expect!
Then, after this large and very "traditional" introduction, the Musée du Quai Branly suprises us with populart art, in big frightening rooms. Wandering ghosts, vengeful ghosts, predatory ghosts, hungry ghosts, ripper who eats its victims' livers, the 2nd part is not really appetizing.
We find spirit amulet (rotted corpses figures from Thailand), movie abstracts (The Ring, obviously, and some really creepy ones) and many testimonies of the Asian folklore, Hokusai prints, No masks from Japan, shadow figures from Thailand, horror manga, the popular appetite for horror is real.
Finally, after scaring us with all these ghosts and other spirits, the Musée du Quai Branly explains us how Asians protect themselves from death.
Ghost hunting with a Taoist exorcist (fashi), rituals to convert the deceased into protective figures, 'Kung-Fu Zombies' techniques, tricks to prevent from being bitten by a vampire (horld your bearth, they smell the vital breath of humans!) as well as altars to pray for the protective ancestors!
Very complete, this exhibition manages to enchant the young ones (well, don't bring your kids if they are not 10 or 12 years old) and movie/video games and manga enthusiats! Let's run there!
From 10 April 2018 to 15 July 2018
Musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac
75007 Paris 7
Métro ligne 9 station "Iéna", RER C station "Pont de l'Alma"
tarif réduit: 7 €
tarif normal: 10 €
From 12 years old
Horaires : 11-19h, nocturne jusqu'à 21h les jeudis, vendredis et samedis
Book your tickets
Group booking (+5 people)