In conjunction with the exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road, musicians from the Silk Road Ensemble are in residence at the Getty to create pop-up musical performances inspired by the art and replica caves on view.

In this video filmed inside Dunhuang replica Cave 285, percussionist Shane Shanahan plays an original composition on a drum, using techniques from different cultures to reflect the diverse cultural influences that converged in the caves of Dunhuang.

More to Explore

Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road exhibition information

Silk Road Ensemble Interprets Dunhuang through Spontaneous Live Music Iris article

Silk Road Ensemble musician and instrument profiles

Art, History, and Conservation of the Cave Temples of Dunhuang video

Virtual Tour of Cave 285, Mogao Grottoes

[Drum beats throughout]

Shane Shanahan: When I came to the Getty Museum, I was really taken by the depiction of the two thunder gods on the ceiling of Cave 285. I really like it because it’s showing these two gods surrounded by drums, and they’re playing fiercely with both their hands ...

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