Thursday, March 31, 2011

Park Chan-soo gives Buddhist art a new voice

Most classic representations of Buddha, and indeed many items of Buddhist art more generally, are quiet and pensive. As they have come down to us, they are painted in subdued and muted colours, or left in simple undecorated stone or metal. At her lecture at the KCC last week, Park Young-sook pointed out that originally many of the sculptures would have been brightly painted. But the fact is that what we see now tend to inspire the viewer in the direction of quiet contemplation rather than noisy jubilation. This effect is often emphasised by their mode of display – in dark temples or low-lit museum display cases. We are encouraged to enjoy the sublime peace in their expressions, appreciate the perfect craftsmanship in the depiction of their robes, and note the significance of the minute differences in their hand gestures. Above all, we are encouraged to do this in perfect silence, like the Buddhas whose lips are kept firmly closed.

Park Chan-soo overturns all those preconceptions.....

Read the full article Buddhist Art News

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