Original Chinese Language Source Article: by Xie Pan Pan (谢盼盼)
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Central News Network, Hangzhou, 27th of November (2014). (Trainee Reporter: Xie Pan Pan). The art of the hanging scroll and of flower arranging belong to a far distant past, and were elegant pastimes associated with the lifestyles of refined scholars. On the 27th of November, 2014, the ancient holy place known as the Ling Yin Temple (situated in the Hangzhou area of Zhejiang province), hosted a unique exhibition (open to the public) of 60 distinctive examples of painting and calligraphy, as well as flower arrangements. The abbot of the Ling Yin Temple – the great monk Guang Guan – said that through this exhibition, he hoped that the general public would develop an awareness and respect for the ancient arts.
This Buddhist art exhibition is named ‘Respectful Mind’, and is sponsored by the Hangzhou City Buddhist Association. All the works of art have been produced through the guidance of dharma masters residing in the great monasteries and temples of the Hangzhou area – and have been created by monks attending the Hangzhou City Buddhist Institute as students. The collection consists of 33 calligraphy works, 27 drawings and paintings, as well as seal characters, official script, short biography writing, normal script, and cursive script, etc., with all literary aspects fully represented. The work presents a diverse subject matter.
The venerable great monk – Abbot Guang Guan – said that this exhibition was centred around the arts of Hangzhou Buddhist calligraphy and painting. However, it was his hope that the general public would be impressed with the skills on show, and be inspired by the demonstration of skill, so that a deep respect for these old traditions can be taken into lay-life.
This civilised reverence of Buddhist inspired art – this reporter learned – had been on display since January the 30th, and was arranged by the Hangzhou Buddhist City Association which had gathered artwork from the eight great monasteries and temples in the area. Each temple concerned privately lit three bundles of incense (donated by the Hangzhou City Buddhist Association) as a blessing, prior to the start of the exhibition (at a time when all tourists were strictly forbidden from the temple grounds). After the blessing was completed by the ordained Sangha, devout pilgrims (and tourists) were allowed back into the temples, and brought incense and other objects as donations.
Before this, Abbot Guang Guan said that, ‘A hundred people presented gifts of incense, a thousand people received guidance, and ten thousand people signed in support.’ Ceremonial activity was held at the Ling Yin Temple, as the Abbot – Guang Guan – performed rituals of reverence and respect for Buddhist art, and personally led the collecting of supporting signatures of those willing to sponsor the intended exhibition. Abbot Guang Guan further stated that the event would be called, ‘leading a harmonious life, through the propagation of civilised arts in a new era of respect.’ This exhibition attracted a number of Buddhist inspired cultural exhibits, including pieces entitled ‘Worshipping with incense, a thousand Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’, and a ‘Devoted Mind’, all expressed using many different styles of calligraphy and distinct brushwork. These exhibits proved very successful and attracted many interested tourists day after day.
A Buddhist monk from the Hangzhou Buddhist Institute told this reporter that Buddhist culture and civilisation is premised entirely upon respect generated from a ‘mind full of devotion’. Incense is burned as an act of Buddhist devotion in the environment, but this means nothing if the inner mind is not calm, clear, and full of wisdom and compassion – this is the basis of all Buddhist art and culture – he said.
Apart from the different painting and calligraphy styles on display, the floral arrangements were extremely pleasant and eye-catching. The Red Maple contrasted beautifully with the green leaves and the Chrysanthemum.
The Abbot Guang Guan stated that Buddhist art of this nature expresses the true essence of Buddhist understanding and culture, and as a righteous form of self-cultivation, purifies the energy of the temple, as well as preserves rare Buddhist arts and skills.
This exhibition expresses the pure mind of Buddhism and encourages the people to respect the Buddha, his teachings, and the broader cultural arts practiced by the ordained Buddhist Sangha. The painting, calligraphy, and flower-arranging are worthy of respect, and bring tranquillity, peace, and understanding to the world. This is why a bow of appreciation is a pleasure to perform.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.
Original Chinese Language Source Article:
中新网杭州11月27日电 (见习记者 谢盼盼)挂画、插花列属于古时文人雅事。在27日浙江杭州千年古刹灵隐寺内，60幅各具特色的书画作品与插花艺术相结合，给民众带来独特体验。灵隐寺方丈光泉大和尚称，希望通过展览，增强民众文明敬香的意识。