A few friends and I started the online free journal, known as the Buddhist Art Meditation(BAM) Journal. It features art works and creative writings by international artists received through open calls.
on historical buddhist image
Buddhist Art has been in practice since historical times for veneration and faith to the Buddhist religion. When one visits historical pilgrim sites, we will see Buddhist art such as sculptures, cave paintings, scrolls, paintings, Buddhist architectures and etc. It is one of the ways in which lay people and the monastic cultivate merits by sponsoring craftsmen to create ornamental features to ancient caves and architecture complexes. You can read an essay I wrote in 2017 on Indian and Sri Lanka Buddhist sculptures for a short introduction to historical Buddhist Art. The essay features images of Buddhist sculptures and cave paintings at Buddhist caves complex, the Dambulla cave temple and the Unesco world heritage site, the Gal Vihara in Sri Lanka as well as relief sculptures of India.
When one visit the museum, we will also see replica of Buddhist sculptures or donated actual Buddhist sculptures. Buddhist art objects used in ceremonies. For example the in the photo below are art objects from the Singapore Asian Civilisation museum.
Ceremonial fan made of ivory and palm leaf from Kandy, Sri Lanka in 18th century. Produced by local artist in local market. This was used by a high profile Buddhist monk for ceremony
Buddha flanked by two Bodhisattvas, China, Sui Dynasty, 581-618. The material is glided bronze. Inscription at the based of the image states that the image was commissioned in 609 and is the ‘Buddha of infinite life’. This is believed to be an image donated to a temple by a devotee.
on buddhist art meditation(BAM) online art journal
The Buddhist Art Meditation Journal on the other hand is focus on contemporary forms of Buddhist art or Buddhism inspired art by Buddhist and non Buddhists art practitioners. They are generally more reflective and faith based, meditating on the teachings of the Buddha.
We are at issue 02 now, launched on the 22 September 2022. You can read the journal at the following link. Issue 01 was launched on Vesak Day 2022.
An ongoing open call is ongoing through 30 November 2022 for the theme “Self and Non Self”. If you have materials that touches on the theme and other Buddhist teachings, you can also submit them. Do share with your friends and arts community who are interested in the practice of intersection between Buddhism and art.
on buddhist asian and western art history
There are a few books which you can read for more information on Asian and western Buddhist Art Histories.
- Buddhist Art and Architecture (World of Art), Robert E. Fisher
- Smile of the Buddha: Eastern Philosophy and Western Art from Monet to Today, Jacquelynn Baas
Feature image: Photo by Julia Volk