Buddhist Art : An Historical and Cultural Journey
The art found attached to the history and teachings of Buddhism have tremendous variety and scale. The massive statues depicting Buddha are found made of wood, metal and stone, on top of mounts or inside a building complex, gilded in gold or covered by wax, in diverse positions and facial expressions. Buddhist paintings are found on walls and cotton throughout history. Architectural structures pave Asia’s landscape with ancient treasures.
Huge religious monuments is a norm for me, as I was born in a city (Rio de Janeiro) watched by a 30 meter statue of Jesus Christ on top of a mountain. The many large scale statues depicting Buddha and other deities of Buddhism I found throughout Asia have always had an emotional and spiritual impact on me, regardless of its historical or philosophical value. There is energy around these precious art objects/monuments that transcend the religious boundaries.
Architecturally, many Buddhist temples are a work of art and can provide a overall experience like no other:
In Central Java, walking up at the steps of Borobudur Temple will give one a sense of the magnitude around this unparalleled complex.
During a silent early morning fog, Old Bagan in Burma, provides passage to ancient times.
Wat Pho, Thailand is one of the most popular Buddhist Temples, housing a 46 meter long statue of a gold Reclining Buddha.
Tōdai-ji, Nara, Japan and its colossal guardian wood statues dating back from 1203 (page 372/58 &59) make an artist want to sit down and sketch these monstrous figures.
Buddha itself is depicted in many ways: The Thai Buddha is slim and elegant while Buddha protected by Naga (page 149/11) has broad shoulders, breasts and a large stomach. Probably one of the most common depictions is the Chinese Lucky Buddha, fat, short & happy.
Page 185/26: This 19th century photograph depicts a horizontal line of men on elephants holding umbrellas. In the background, is a statue of Buddha framed into a opening of a ruin (wall/building façade) in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Simply fantastic!
Page 217/33: Unusual image of Siddhartha depicted as a malnourished old man, literally skin and bones, deep eyes and abdomen, veins and ribs protruding from the upper torso, tremendous detailed work of art.
Buddhist Art | An Historical and Cultural Journey by Gilles Beguin is a fantastic documentation of the Buddhist art scattered all over Asia. The book is engaging, interesting, informative, and highly illustrated. Its 400 pages will light up your senses and immerse you into the beauty and diversity of Buddhist art, regardless of your religious belief.
For book specifics see amazon.com below.
Buddhist Art : An Historical and Cultural Journey
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The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY is designed to connect art seekers and collectors with artists DIRECTLY. The gallery is not a mall, but instead a collection of remarkable works of art that bring together artists and potential buyers.
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Written By Joelcy Kay – Curator
Every piece of art, crafts, or textiles, hanging on my walls or ceiling tells a tiny passage of my life. Most of it was acquired during my travels. Many of these treasures are damaged whether because they were broken on arrival, as the pieces were tightly stuffed into my backpack, or weathered by the unforgiving Florida tropical humidity. But in the end, they are my precious processions and they are part of the stories I tell. It feels good to have rugs hanging from the ceiling, masks on the walls, and drinking my morning coffee thinking of the mugs’ tale. The point here is that art has a lot to offer each one of us; ART IS VERY PERSONAL!
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