Design concept 設計理念
金玉佛國 A Precious Buddha Land
設計人：胡焱榮 Soofeen Hu
2014 | 18.2 x 14 x 15.2 cm | 3.125 kg(含木座）
The flying Apsaras in Buddhism refer to the celestial beings that make offerings to all the Buddha and Bodhisattva with the singing, dancing, fragrant flower and more. The Buddhism was originated in early India and spread into China through the Central Asian Silk Road. The flying Apsaras of Dunhuang Caves were first found in the grottoes built in the period of Sixteen Kingdoms (the fourth century A.D.) and ended in the Yuan Dynasty (the fourteenth century A.D.), which had lasted over thousands of years and become an symbol for the art of Dunhuang. Through the rich pictures of dance and music in Dunhuang, the flying Apsaras are an important part for the ambition that propagates the Dharma to benefit sentient beings. One the one hand, they express their intentions of heart to sincerely make offerings to the Dharma through the singing, dancing, performing music, fragrant flower and praising. On the other hand, they express how happy they are while listening and learning the Dharma and how they highly praise for the Sukhāvatī as well.
The Three Noble Ones of the West, Amitabha Buddha, Guanyin Bodhisattva and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, are the focus that is the relief carving of this work, making an analogy of the Pure Land. The surrounding flying Apsaras, music performers, play the Buddhist Chanting and sound through the konghou, huqin, pipa and Chinese flutes, and gracefully and elegantly fly out of the clouds. Dancing in the breeze with the streamers and clouds, plus the Devi’s facial expressions playing the music instruments, the image showcased with the dynamic sense and aesthetics seems to be full of the sound of Buddhist chanting and happily praising.
"Lotus" in Chinese "He" is homophonous with the word for "harmony", which means harmonious and perfect. After carving the jade, it's covered with the coating of gold leaves, and as there is a mix of gold and jade materials, it expresses the meaning of abundant wealth. The composition of the whole lotus pond is based on the results of observing the lotus' life cycle for a long term. The creator realizes that how distinctive the life cycle of nature shows up and he's deeply impressed. The dried leaves mottled with yellow and white colors are just like the history happened in the past; the crystal clear flower, leaf and frog are just like the present life. However, the current moment will be gone soon. Nothing is permanent in life. People around the world shall seize the current moments and learn the lessons from what happened in the past. On the other hand, the decoration of lotus, grew up to get through the cover of lotus leaf, Buddha and bodhisattvas and flying Apsaras and surpassed over the dried leaves, means having a new life. Through this work, the creator expects the visitors to feel the Buddha-nature wisdom and its compassion of rescuing all sentient beings from suffering. This creation is not just an artwork appreciation, but gives the spiritual inspiration to people, leading them to start the way to Buddhahood.
The condition of the raw gemstone affects the creator's imagination and inspiration of creation. The creator, not entirely nor deliberately making a creation, uses the original state of raw gemstone and collects the concepts of creation to achieve a very natural effect. The entire work is modeled by the lotus and coordinated with the shape and color of raw gemstones in order to respectively express the style of gradually dried lotus leaf, and how to display the appearance of pure, clean flowers and newly sprouting leaves. Through the irregular shape of raw gemstone, the composition of bas-relief displays the different charm and interests when visitors appreciate it through the all-around angles. How to demonstrate the soft texture of lotus through the hard texture of raw gemstone is a huge challenge for the carving technique. The external appearance of raw gemstone is transformed into the lotus leaves, which cover itself from the bottom to top and particularly change the display angle of upper edge to showcase a sense of rhythm. The used openwork-carving technique is to express the lithe layers. Compared to the theme of flying Apsaras and Buddha Land, lighting up a lamp inside the center of lotus will immediately display a modern look that the Buddha's light shines universally.