Project Description


(1995) (RT 1:30)
(Produced and Directed by Perry Miller Adato)

Filmed on location in Asia, four beloved stories of India, Indonesia, Korea and Japan are told thru the masterpieces of visual art and the stirring performances these tales have inspired for centuries.  Great Tales in Asian Art is an imaginative and entertaining introduction to the art of Asia.

The Ramayana: the epic adventures of India’s legendary hero are illustrated by Indonesian sculpture and Javanese shadow play, accompanied by a full Gamelan orchestra. Korean Masked Dance Drama: told by actors wearing audaciously conceived masks, social satire is “masked” with bold humor and comic dance. Gita Govinda: India’s great erotic poem is depicted in lyrical 16th century manuscript paintings and interpreted by a beautiful Indian dancer filmed in the ancient temple in Puri (Orissa, India). The Tale of Genji: written by a woman, it is the first Japanese novel.  The amorous adventures of Prince Genji are recounted in the film by a Japanese woman in period costume while colorful paintings from ancient scrolls and screens illustrate Japan’s most famous romantic novel.

Maxwell K. Hearn, Curator in charge of the Asian Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art “…quite simply the finest program of Asian art that I have ever seen.”


“…quite simply the finest program on Asian art that I have ever seen.”
–Maxwell K. Hearn, Curator of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Director: Perry Miller Adato
Producer: Perry Miller Adato
Writer: Jan Hartman
Line Producer: Valerie Shepherd
Field Producer: Smokey Forester
Director of Photography: Jerry Pantzer
Editor: David Steward
Associate producer: Caroline King
Sound Recordist: John Murphy
Original Music Composed: Richard Einhorn
Additional Editing: Peter Odabashian
Opening title sequence and Music Supervision: Terence Williams
Assistant camera: Todd Liebler
Voices: Alma Cuervos, Jeffrey de Munn, Paul Hecht
Ramayana Master Puppeteer: Bapak Dalang Sugi
Gita Govinda Dancer: Aruna Mohanty
Tale of Genji Reader: Kia Ann Joyce
Costume Designer: Howard Kaplan

Vishakha N. Desai, Director of Galleries, Asia Society
Usha Rai, Journalist
Lee Du-Hyun, Drama Historian, Seoul National University
Kapila Vatsyayan, Academic Director Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts
Yoshiaki Shimizu, Art Historian, Princeton University
Donald Keene, Historian of Japanese Literature Columbia University
Miyeko Murase, Art Historian, Columbia University

Richard Barnhart
Martin Collcut
Vidya Dehejia
Vishakha N Desai
Ainslie Embree
Maxwell Hearn
Kim Hongnam
Donald Keene
William R LaFleur
Barbara Stoler Miller
Stanley J O’Connor
Youngsook Pak
Amy G. Poster
John Rosenfield
Yoshiaki Shimizu

Location Managers- Asia
Mohammed Shafi, India
Dana Saelan, IPM, Indonesia
B.J. Lee, Korea
Yang Heyun, China

On-Line Editor: Christos Pathiakis
Photo Animation: Aerial Image
Research/Production Assistance:
Rebecca Clear
Danae Elon
Tara Estra
Peter B Goodnough
Karin Huntzinger
Helen Lee
Mary Elizabeth Mitchell

Special Thanks to:
Korean Overseas Information Service
Air India
Japan Airlines
Government of India, Department of Culture Ministry of Human Resources
Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture
Indian Tourist Office
Indonesian Consulate General
The Asia Society
Consulate General of India
Korean Cultural Services
Orissa Tourist Office
The Mary and Jackson Burke Collection
National Museum of Korea, Seoul
National Folklore Museum, Seoul
Urasenke Chanoyu Center Korean Folk Village

Sources for Art Works:
American Committee for South Asian Art
Bharat Kala Bhavan, Banares Hindu University
Dr. Alvin O. Bellak
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
The British Library
The Brooklyn Museum
Gotoh Museum
Kansong Art Museum
Kyoto National Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
National Museum of India
Carl Nardiello
Gursharan S. Sidhu and Elvira A. Sidhu
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library
Tokugawa Art Museum

Film Sources
Greenwich Film Productions
Lumiere Films
Nippon Herald Films
TV Ramayan
Sagar Enterprises
Ju Dou
Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd.
Miramax Films
Dream Window-Reflections on the Japanese Garden
Office of Telecommunications, Smithsonian Institution in association with
Tajima Vision, Tokyo

Literary Sources
Tale of Genji by Murasake Shikibu translated by Edward G. Seidensticker
Alfred A. Knopf
Tale of the Heiji Rebellion translated by Edwin O. Reischaeuer Harvard University Press, Cambridge
Love Song of the Dark Lord translated by Barbara Stoler Miller Columbia University Press

For Independent Production Fund
Senior Producer: Christopher Lukas
Coordinating Producer: Douglas P. Sinsel
Executive Producers: Alvin H. Perlmutter, Perry Miller Adato

A production of the Independent Production Fund, Inc.
© 1995

Rosalind P. Walters
Korean Overseas Information Service
Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation
George O’Neil
Fidelity Investment