The Sackler Gallery is hosting Asian Games: The Art of Contest through May 15.

Using boards, pieces, and other game-playing paraphernalia as well as paintings, prints, and decorative arts that depict people playing games, Asian Games: The Art of Contest explores the role of games as social and cultural activities in the diverse societies of pre-modern Asia. It also highlights the paramount importance of Asia as a source of many games—chess, backgammon, Parcheesi, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, and playing cards, not to mention polo and field hockey—now played in the West. In addition to games familiar to Western audiences, the exhibition also examines the Japanese shell-matching game (kai-oi) and incense competition (jishu-ko).

The exhibition received support from NEH, and is also highlighted in “Playful Pursuits,” an article in the July/August issue of Humanities Magazine.


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