Buddha statues made in China do not have any of the machismo that Gandhara Buddha statues had

A tathagata head created in China during the Tang Dynasty
A tathagata head created in China during the Tang Dynasty
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Whenever I visit a museum that has many Buddha statues on display, I am reminded of the wide variety of faces that can be found in a single word "Buddha statue." I felt the same way at the Matsuoka Museum of Art in Shirokanedai, Tokyo. The Buddhist statues displayed in the Ancient Oriental Sculptures exhibit are rich in variety, with faces from different periods and places of creation.

The Buddha images made in Gandhara, which was located in the northwestern part of present-day Pakistan, have a very different atmosphere from those of ordinary Japanese Buddha images. Not only are they quite dandy-like with mustaches, but their facial features themselves are almost Western-like and flamboyant. However, Buddha himself was born in South Asia. It would not be surprising if he had a thick face, but the overall impression is macho, and it seems that he does not fully express the original "one who has awakened to the truth" or "one who has attained enlightenment."

When Buddhist statues were made in China over time, the machismo of Gandhara statues disappeared completely. The face becomes very soft. When we look at the head of the Buddha, which was made in China during the Tang Dynasty, the dandy-like face is completely rounded, and it looks as if the Buddha is meditating quietly with his eyes closed. It is such a change that one might be worried that something painful might have happened to him that would change his outlook on life.

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PHOTO DATA

No

12246

Shooting Date

Feb 2022

Posted On

April 25, 2022

Place

Shirokanedai, Tokyo

Genre

Still Life Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS LOXIA 2/35

Where is Matsuoka Museum of Art?

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