Zhengrong To Ruixiang : The Medieval Chinese Reception Of The Chinese Buddha

Decent Essays

Sun-ah Choi examines the unusual iconography of the Chinese Buddha, which is represented by the Buddhas found in Sichuan Province, China, in her essay published in Art Bulletin (97:4), Zhengrong to Ruixiang: The Medieval Chinese Reception of the Mahabodhi Buddha Satua. The images of Chinese Buddha experienced a notable change in the seventh century. Before the seventh century, the imageries focused on the narratives scenes and the Buddhas, at the same time, were devoid of the lavish jewelry. Since then, as the puti ruixiang cave displays in Sichuan, the Buddha images are regarded as independent icons with heavy ornamentation. Immediately, Choi questions the origins of the name and then sets forth her thesis. In this article, she …show more content…

On the contrary, to some extent, the sadness of Yijing converts into some positive feelings. From then on, for human beings, the statue of the Buddha is identical to his physical body, connecting the past, the present, and the future, delivering his benevolence to the mortals. Thus, this results in a significant shift from “as if real” to “the true visage.” When Choi rethinks the notion of the replications, first, she adduces a concept from John Ma, who points out the peculiarity of people in ancient or medieval period. They prefer to illustrate their characteristic subjects, instead of producing identical replications. At the same time, she uses a considerable amount of pictures to elaborate the different imitations of the Buddhas in different cultural circumstances. For instance, the Buddha that was built in South Korea is recognized by its significant size. The measurements of each part of this Buddha are identical to the earlier prototype. In Indonesia, there is another statue known for its crude quality, because according to the legend, the prototype was unfinished. Different from the imitation of size or unusual quality, the puti ruixiang Buddha in China emphasizes on its heavy decorations consciously since the Buddha in the Mahabodhi Temple was decorated with lavish ornaments. These visual images help the viewer to distinguish the stylistic differences among the characteristic Buddhas. Based on the

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