Monday, September 11, 2017

Buddha's Smile at the National Gallery Victoria

After a bit of a delay I am finally getting back into having an Adventure Day every week, to explore what my city, Melbourne has to offer.

I always like visiting the NGV with it's impressive waterfall entrance and it's amazing Grand Hall with it's spectacular stained glass ceiling.

National Gallery Victoria - St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

The magnificent waterfall entry to the NGV.  
The first time I ever visited this gallery I thought the water ran down between two sheets of glass. It wasn't until I put my face and hands on it and I got drenched I realised it didn't. 

The Grand Hall was opened on August 20, 1968.
This magnificent ceiling is the world's largest stained-glass ceiling
and was designed by Australian artist Leonard French.
The ceiling is high 13.72 metres and a  vast 60.9 x 15.24 metres.

The 224 triangles of diamond-cut primary colours weigh 300 kilograms each.

This latest venture was to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Buddha's Smile Exhibition. Anyone who knows me and my obsession with Buddha's would instantly know this is one exhibition I would have to visit.

11 Headed Bodhisattva

A delicate but powerful piece

It was hard to get a great photo of this statue as it was behind glass.
But for some reason it mesmerised me. 

 The explanation in the NGV information brochure is "Explore the story of Buddha in his multitude of incarnations, from Buddhist-inspired works of art and Zen philosophy to Buddhist costume, religious symbolism, painting conventions and historical narratives. Buddha's Smile reveals the unique style and mediums of art throughout Asia with a focus on the tranquility and silent transmission of Buddhist philosophy through simple gestures of a smile."

Liu Xiaoxian
Our God, Laughing Buddha
Digital print on aluminium

The Our God, Laughing Buddha work is actually made up of
thousands of photos of Jesus, as shown in detail above.
The artist also made a corresponding piece of work of Jesus made
up up thousands of photos of the Laughing Buddha. 
I did have a little feedback from a friend that they thought the exhibition was just OK. From my perspective I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very informative with some amazing pieces of art.

Ceremonial hanging and covering... 19th Century
Depicting the life of King Ashoka -Buddha

"The Buddha smiled and varicoloured rays of light extended from the smile, up to the gods in heaven and down to the various hells, where warmth brought relief to those suffering in the cold hells and it's coolness brought relief to those in the hot hells'..........
......Adaptation from The Legend of King Ashoka