“Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art”
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College
April 23 – June 28, 2015
Curator: Karen Lucic; assisted by: Mengna Da ‘15, Claire Fey ‘16, Emma Jacobs ‘15, Lily Kaar ‘16, Liqiao Li ‘16, Benno Orlinsky ‘15, Jiajing Sun ‘15, and Catherine Zhou ‘15.
A widely shared spiritual and humanist value, compassion can be characterized as a deep concern and sympathy for others. No figure in Buddhist art better exemplifies these qualities than Avalokiteshvara. Embodying Compassion in Buddhist Art is the first transcultural exhibition in America solely devoted to the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who emerged in India two thousand years ago to become a venerated deity throughout Asia. Like all bodhisattvas, this figure selflessly leads others to enlightenment, but Avalokiteshvara’s special role is to exemplify limitless compassion, a fundamental ideal in Mahayana Buddhism. This exhibition presents over 30 outstanding examples of Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, and Japanese art from prominent institutions in the U.S..