The 48 Vows of Amitabha comes from the “Infinite Life Sutra.” The word Amitabha derives from Sanskrit. “Ami” means immeasurable, infinite, empty, and clean, in addition to other meanings. “Ta” alludes to time and everlasting life. “Bha” means infinite light, thus Amitabha is known as the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light. The “Infinite Life Sutra” is one of the most important texts of the Pure Land Buddhist dharmic practice. The 48 vows made by Amitabha, whose compassion saw the rise of the Yuandun lotus. According to Buddhist declaration, this is the most profound succession of the Amitabha Buddha of Western Pure Land Buddhism.
On October 28, Space Station will exhibit the artist Zeng Yang’s work for the third time. The work in this exhibition follows the creative style of the last exhibition, “The World of Infinite Life.” At the same time, it records the progression of the artist’s Buddhist practice. The difference between work featured in this exhibition and that of the last one is that Zeng Yang’s has integrated his artistic practice with Buddhist scriptures to a much more intimate degree, allowing the work to be far more majestic. The works depict specific events, drawn from Buddhist scriptures. For example, the exhibition features forty-eight works, which depict the fort-eight vows of Amitabha. “Amitabha” contains the immeasurable glory of time and space. Amitabha’s vision and presence as the Buddha of Light are both elements sought by the artist are strongly felt within the works included in this exhibition, whose spiritual dimension exudes in all directions. If we say that the artist’s painstaking research of painting methods is to create a service, then Zeng Yang, within this regard, is making a dharmic vow in his own right.
Zeng Yang’s father is an artist. Painting is a part of his family’s history. Through persistence, seriousness and tenacity, this artist from Yunnan has always relied on experimentation based on his own ideas. What makes him different from other artists is the profound impact that the essence of Buddhism has made on Zeng Yang, which has allowed him to create works of unparalleled proportions. Evident his early “Repent” series, the concept of “I” remained at the center of his work. The artists employed personal narrative forms to illustrate his own modes of thinking. Even at that time, his thoughts on faith were revealed. But as the artist continues down his creative path, he has yet to encounter certainty. In the artist’s recent gold leaf Buddhist series, “I” no longer appears. The work has been completely severed from any trivial fragmented personal symbols, allowing for a more relaxed atmosphere to naturally arise. It is accurate to say that Buddhism reveals the truth of the universe rather than functioning as a generalized religion.
It is also based on this that Zeng Yang finds his own painting language through relentless discovery. Regardless of the artist’s personal attitude of artistic creation, both are great changes. Through his current works, we are able to see the Dunhuang Manuscripts among others. Also, similar to the Buddhist sculpture artisans, the artist’s engraves onto the painting’s surface, executing smooth tapered lines of meticulous sophistication. The content of the religious themes compliments the gold foil material. The overall style of the works reflect the fine and delicate Zhen Li characteristics found within Sui and Tang Dynasty period paintings. Ancient, while modern at the same time, the artist’s works successfully breakthrough understood dimensions of space, while also remaining mysterious in nature. However, as with most Buddhist works of art, regardless of whether contemporary or traditional, almost all of them copy the ancients. Breaking through techniques and materials, Zeng Yang hopes to arouse the viewer’s yearning for the Buddhist Western Paradise. The Splendid Realm is not far away. The Heart of Dharma and the transformation within one’s mind will lead to a greater state of being. Through this creative state of mind, we are able to be more adept in our understanding of Zeng Yang’s painting skills.
While the key to Pure Land Buddhism, Amitabha is also the key to a larger secret. A seemingly simple name, but is everywhere within the hearts and minds believers. The weight it bears cannot be ignored. As noted in the poems of Bai Juyi, “Amitabha is idle, Amitabha is moving, even while Amitabha is busy like an arrow.” Within this materialistic fast-food age, devout practice is indeed not easy. However, within this environment, Zeng Yang spares no effort to create Buddhist themes unlike any one else. Opening himself up, converting to Sanbao, and continuing in practice wholeheartedly, to be reborn again in the Pure Land, these are perhaps the aspirations of Zeng Yang.
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周二至周日10：00 - 18：00
Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 - 18:00