Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 11 & 14
June 10, 2014 (Tue) - August 31, 2014 (Sun)
In Japan, many Buddhist statues, which were representations of Buddha, have been created after Buddhism was brought into the country in the mid-6th century.
This exhibition, being held in rooms 11 and 14 of the Honkan, displays Buddhist statues that were created mainly in the Kamakura period (1192–1333).
Buddhist statues of the Kamakura period are characterized by a fascinatingly vivacious style, almost as if they are alive, which is not seen in other Buddhist statues created earlier in history.
Their realistic expression was partly achieved by creating eyes that glisten. The technique for this, called inlaid crystal eyes, involves hollowing out the head and placing crystal pieces from the back of the statues'eye sockets (from inside the head). The statues'physiques and postures, which seem as if they are just about to move, perhaps also contribute to the realistic and captivating look that the statues possess.
Please look closely at each statue, or compare two statues standing next to each other, while paying attention to their facial expressions, postures, colors and overall mood.
Please also imagine what kind of people created these Buddhist statues, or what these statues are meant to be doing. It may lead you to new ways of appreciating the statues.
We hope this exhibition reveals the many attractive features of Buddhist statues.