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Buddhist art in a modern world

By Wang Wei (Global Times)

14:12, January 13, 2012

Tao Hong's Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water is part of the exhibition. (Photo: Gong Rui/GT)

The Famen Temple Modern Buddhist Art Exhibition, now showing at the Xi'an Art Museum in Shaanxi Province, celebrates Buddhist art through a wide-ranging presentation of artistic pieces.

Sponsored by Qujiang New District Management Committee and Shaanxi Famen Temple Culture Industry Company, it is the first large Buddhist art show in China. Altogether 130 works of art, created by well-known Chinese contemporary artists, are featured in the exhibition, comprising oil paintings, sculptures, photography and modern pieces.

"The exhibition is being held to spread Buddhist wisdom through modern art creations. All the works of art contain Buddhist themes and an intelligent modern artistic attitude," Li Rui, curator of the exhibition, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"We planned for the exhibition to be held at the beginning of 2012 to demonstrate new outlooks on life, along with best wishes for the new year," said Ma Li, who also participated in organizing the event.

Ma added that the exhibition was not meant to spread any particular religious practices but rather to help visitors better understand the ultimate value of life through the light of Buddhism.

According to Ma, this is not the first Buddhist exhibition that has been held by the Famen Temple Culture Industry Company. The firm held its first Buddhist art exhibition two years ago, and it hopes to hold similar exhibitions in the future.

Among the numerous exhibits, the nine pieces of Fuliu Buddhist paintings are exceptionally eye-catching. Each painting is handmade, created through 36 procedures which together take more than half a year, including carving, coloring, embossing, gilding and outlining. The exquisite and intricate artistic method reflects the dignity of Buddha and the serenity of the Buddhist spiritual landscape.

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