Refashioning space: The Shwedagon in British Burma (Myanmar)
The Buddhist arts of Myanmar, drawing in varied concepts of direction and boundary to sacred place, have developed a richly localized vocabulary over periods of both amalgamation and conflict. The late nineteenth century CE was one of the latter, when at the end of the Second Anglo-Burmese War British troops occupied the highly venerated Shwedagon pagoda. Nonetheless, or perhaps as a result, patronage flourished and new donations embellished religious spaces. In their contrasting worldviews and styles, the arts of this period illustrate the role of material culture in both reflecting and re-redefining the 'local' within wider processes of social change.