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Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008
Exhibition: The Lost Buddhas (New South Wales)
by Yong Peng (ypong001(a)yahoo.com) [AUS:IP logged]

The Lost Buddhas
Chinese Buddhist sculpture from Qingzhou

29 August - 23 November 2008
Asian Gallery, Ground Level

Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia)

The discovery in 1996 of an enormous cache of hundreds of stone Buddhist sculptures dating from as early as the sixth century is considered one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century in China, on a par with the First Emperor's terracotta soldiers. The sculptures were found buried in a pit on the site of the long-destroyed Longxing (Dragon Rise) Temple in Qingzhou, Shandong province in eastern China when construction workers were levelling a sports field. Mostly created during a period straddling the Northern Wei to the Tang dynasties (6th-9th centuries), the sculptures were interred during the 12th century for reasons that are still unclear. The refined and sensual sculptures illustrate the dramatic stylistic changes that occurred during a time when Buddhist art in China reached its apogee.

The lost Buddhas: Chinese Buddhist sculpture from Qingzhou displays 35 of the best preserved and most exquisite sculptures from the Qingzhou discoveries centring on those from the sixth century. A distinctive feature of the works is the painted and gilded detail that remains. Some sculptures in the exhibition are monumental in size, many are stelae with one central Buddha and two attendant bodhisattvas. The largest stele is over three metres high and weighs over a ton. Perhaps the most impressive are free-standing figures of Buddha or bodhisattvas, which are life-size and naturalistic in expression.

Community Log: 2 replies

from Yong Peng on Saturday, September 13, 2008 00:51:24UTC [AUS]

Serenity in stone

from Yong Peng on Sunday, September 07, 2008 01:02:41UTC [AUS]

Buddha statue exhibition wows Australians

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