Easy Language

The Museum Rietberg is one of the largest art museums in Switzerland.
It shows traditional and contemporary art from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific Island countries.

Buddhism at the Museum Rietberg
Three years ago, the Museum Rietberg put on an exhibition about Buddhism.
You can still explore this exhibition online,
Use the app on the Museum Rietberg website.

Discover the exhibition online
The name of the web app is “Next Click Nirvana – What is Buddhism?”
You can access it at home on your computer or tablet.
Or click on it on your smartphone when you’re on the go.
All you need to enter the world of Buddhism is an Internet connection.

Next Click Nirvana – What is Buddhism?
This digital exhibition shows Buddhist works of art.
The objects come from different countries in Asia.
Today they are part of the Museum Rietberg’s collections.
The Buddhist artworks and information about them are now barrier free.

Barrier free means:
They are accessible to everyone.

Barrier-free exhibition
The Museum Rietberg holds the Pro Infirmis label “Culture Inclusive”.
This label commits the Museum Rietberg to be barrier free.
Inclusion is very important to the Museum Rietberg.

Inclusion means:
Everyone receives the information they need.
Everyone can participate.
That’s why the app is mostly barrier free:
Not only can you see the contents and the artworks.
You can hear about them as well.

If you are vision-impaired or blind, you can:

If you are hearing-impaired or deaf, you will find:

  • Subtitles for the videos

If you need an easy language version, you will find:

  • An introduction to the web app in easy language
  • A summary of Buddhism in easy language

How does the web app work?
In the main navigation at the top you will find five menus:

  • ART
  • ABC
  • TOUR

Here's how the menus work.

In the menu STORIES you will find a lot of interesting things about the history of Buddhism.
It also has information on the people, the cultures, and the religious rituals behind it all.

In the menu ART you will find many works of art.
These include painted pictures, figures, and objects.
They are from India, the Himalayas, China, Japan, and South-East Asia.
The artworks tell many stories.
You will learn about the life of the Buddha and what he taught, and about Buddhist rituals and ideas.

What do nirvana and karma mean?
In the menu ABC you can follow up on such questions.
Here you will find explanations of 150 Buddhist words and ideas.
For example: What does “happiness” mean in Buddhism?

A whole range of people offer explanations.
Nuns, monks, scholars, and many others explain what nirvana, karma and happiness mean to them.

Would you like to design a cool poster using your favourite pictures and figures?
Or put together some important info for school?
In the menu CLICKS, you can create your own collection.

Here's how it works:
First, click on the ARTWORKS or STORIES that you like.
Then click on the heart (in the circle on the far right).

Below the heart is a pencil. You can use it to make notes.
Write a note and then click on “Add to clicks”.
Now go to the menu CLICKS.
There you will find all your notes and favourites.

Now it’s your turn!
Visit us at the Museum Rietberg.
Eight stations await you there.
Bring along your headphones and smartphone.
They will allow you to read about the artworks and listen to descriptions on your app.
Discover and experience the art of Buddhism.


Museum Rietberg
Gablerstrasse 15
8002 Zürich

Travel instructions for the vision-impaired or blind.

Buddhism has many faces
Buddhism is one of the five great world religions.
Buddhism has been around for 2,500 years.
It emerged in India. Then it spread to many other Asian countries. 
Today, many people around the world are interested in Buddhism.
People in different countries practise Buddhism quite differently.
Their artworks and temples look different, too.
That's because Buddhism has many faces.
The app will help you find your way through the world of Buddhism.

Who was the Buddha?
The Buddha is considered the founder of Buddhism.
He lived in India 2,500 years ago.
The Buddha was born as a prince and grew up in a beautiful palace.
As a young man, he realized that all humans suffer.
They experience sickness and death.
They lose people they love.
They know envy and hatred.

The Buddha asked himself: how does one end suffering?
He decided to leave his palace and his wealth.
He lived alone in a forest for many years.
There he meditated and thought a lot.
After many years, it is said, he found a path.
The Buddha named the end of suffering “nirvana”.

What did the Buddha teach?
The Buddha taught the “Four Noble Truths”.
The first truth says: All life is suffering.
Humans suffer because they hold on to things.
But nothing lasts forever. Humans as well as things pass.
You cannot hold on to them.

Buddhists believe in rebirth.
After death, they begin a new life.
But in their new life, too, they experience suffering.
This makes them wish not to be born again.
To end rebirth, they must first understand a higher truth.
Meditation helps them on this path.

What do Buddhists do?
In Buddhism you have monks and nuns.
They live in monasteries and give their lives to religion.
Meditation is a very important practice to them.

Many other people also practise Buddhism.
They often donate food and money to monasteries.
Giving is very important. It is a good deed.
People also donate works of art.

There are many rituals in Buddhism.
People honour sacred figures.
They make pilgrimages to sacred sites.
And they read sacred texts together.

Why are there so many Buddha figures?
Buddha figures were produced for temples.
People also placed them on altars at home.
They used the figures for religious rituals.
The figures remind them of the Buddha and his teachings.

Today, you often come across Buddha figures in Europe.
People feel something special when they see a Buddha figure.
Many see the Buddha as a symbol of peace and happiness.

These organizations helped make the inclusive web app possible.
We thank them for their financial support.

  • Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation
  • Ernst Göhner Foundation