On October 19, a privileged few in Beijing were treated to an exhibition of Buddhist statues with a difference. Though time and geography may have separated the artists that carved them, these sculptures all carry the same striking artistic features.
Unlike the usual images of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, these statues are made in a unique style, which involves great artistry.
The highlight of the exhibition was the 600-year-old Ming dynasty gold-plated "Sakyamuni on the snow-capped mountain". His square face, long ears, and extraordinarily big head make for a vivid portrayal of Sakyamuni practicing Buddhism on a great snow-capped mountain.
These Buddhist statues were sculpted in China's Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, over a period covering the past 1,400 years. Others were carved in countries like India, Nepal and Pakistan. The sculptures will all go on public display at the 2003 China International Guardian Auction next month.
(CCTV.com October 21, 2003)