Far East

The Far East is largely synonymous with the term East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and to a lesser extent Mongolia. China being one of the earliest areas of civilisation in the world and existing about 1500 years before other East Asian civilisations, East Asia is largely defined as the cultural sphere of China. Native religions associated with the ancient art of the region include shamanic traditions and ancestral worship, Shintoism, Hinduism of Korea, Confucianism and Taoism; Buddhism originating in India was also a very significant religion. Following from some very interesting prehistoric examples, East Asian art typically includes characteristic swirling flame or flowing water motifs, mythological dragons and lions possibly originating form earlier religious practices and a sensitivity to materials typical of Taoist philosophy. Later Buddhist art sees a subtle influence originating from Hellenistic sculpture with distinct eastern style. East Asia is a highly significant region for ceramics producing some of the most highly regarded examples.