Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito

A very cool offering of Buddhist art from BeliefNet.

The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito

A collection of artwork from the founder of Shinnyo-en Buddhism

Shinjo Ito founded Shinnyo-en Buddhism in 1936 as a place for all people to learn Buddhist traditions and find inner enlightenment regardless of age, gender, nationality or religious background. As an amateur artist, Shinjo's works carry a special spiritual energy; they were not created specifically as works of art, but as forms of meditation throughout his monastic training. The collection of over 100 works--sculptures, engravings, photography and calligraphy--first debuted in Shinjo's native Japan and is now touring the world.

Shinjo said, "I am no professional. So when I think about it, I feel uneasy as to how much of the loving kindness, compassion, and virtue of the Buddha the images I create with my amateur skills can express. But I do pour my soul into the job, with sincere heart as if offering three bows for every cut of the chisel. The only thing clearly showing in my work may be that."

Take a peek at Shinjo Ito's Buddhist art collection...
Another image:
The Great Parinirvana Image was created by Shinjo and volunteers from his congregation in 1957 and remains the central object of worship of the Shinnyo-en lineage of Buddhism. The construction was inspired by Shinjo's reading of the Great Parinirvana Sutras. Most representations of the Parinirvana Shakyamuni show the Buddha as almost lifeless, but Shinjo's interpretation is highly dynamic.

Great Parinirvana Image, 1957, 500 cm, Resin
Very cool!

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