Inspired By: Getty Exhibit - Cave Temples of Dunhuang


If you have yet to visit the Getty museum in Los Angeles, it's a must see. Put it on your bucket list. Just the buildings themselves are awe inspiring, not to mention the grounds, gardens and views of the Pacific Ocean. During a visit to the Getty Museum last summer, I learned about The Cave Temples of Dunhuang, located on the western edge of the Gobi desert, near the town of Dunhuang, China. Many efforts have been made to restore and preserve the original caves and replicating these ancient forms of art has become a celebrated form of Chinese heritage. Replication is a time-honoured Chinese artistic practice and an important methodology for education and religion. While copying is typically frowned upon, it is the art of replication that Dunhuang, a once forgotten Buddhist treasury of art, has come alive and is being made known in the world. I found the use of natural, mineral pigments most fascinating. Simply limited to the colours created from natural resources, a wonderful and unexpected palette and colour combination is made. Inspired by the cave walls, we translated the scheme into an interior colour story taking on a more modern approach, yet maintaining a similar tranquility, texture and tonality.

Getty Museum, The Cave Temples of Dunhuang, China

If you have a few more minutes, check out this video of the artists at work, replicating the Cave Temples. Fascinating!