This elegant, elongated statue of the standing Buddha captures the solemnity and presence of the divine man. His robes captured in flow, his hands raised in benediction, this figure straddles the realm between a corporeal being and an immaterial presence. The drapery recalls the work's transient nature while the pose reflects serenity, effortlessness and the unchanging. This is a moving work of art that depicts some of the most elusive qualities of the Buddha and Chinese Buddhist doctrine.
The figure stands frontally with both feet firmly planted on a simple base. The composition takes on the contour of a compact triangle. Only the hands break the strict symmetry of the pose, yet they provide a sense of rhythmic balance as well. Here, the right hand, with palm facing the viewer and pointing up, counters the left hand, which points down. Any movement in the figure has been redirected toward the rhythmic pattern of the surface ornament. The ornament is not entirely abstract, but represents the drapery folds of the Buddha’s garments.
The figure wears three garments that compose the Triple Robe (tricivara; Chinese sanyi) worn by the Buddha and by Buddhist monks. The long skirt or antarvasra (Ch. anduohui), which is tied at the waist like a sarong, can be seen just above the figure’s feet. A kind of shirt or samkakshika (Ch. pianshan) is worn over it.
Private Collection, Hong Kong, 1968.
Exhibited: Mandarin Oriental, Munich, Presidential Suite, 2007-2008.