Analysis of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin at Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Bodhisattvas are Buddhist deities who have forgone entrance into Nirvana until that time when all beings have attained enlightenment. In China, Kuan-yin became the most popular bodhisattva and was widely worshipped as the deity of mercy and compassion. —— Minneapolis Institute of Art Description
The Bodhisattva Kuan-yin is chosen for this art analysis for three reasons, its location, shape, and its significant meaning in Asian Arts. This sculpture locates closest to stair on the second floor of Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). It is the first art piece a visitor will see when entering the gallery section, which, leaves a strong first impression. This location also gives people a clue that it is one of the most featured art pieces at MIA. It attracts peoples’ eyes because of its huge and tall body, about 1.5 meters high and 1 meter wide. But even it is big, still made and painted in detail to every drape on the cloth and even to the decorative pattern on her necklace. It is an exquisite sculpture and its finesse tells people there must be a big amount of time consumed during the construction. The last reason this specific object is chosen is Buddhism is a highlight of Asia Arts. As we learned in class, Buddhism is originally from India and spread all over the Asian countries. This art form could be seen in different kinds of Asian art pieces. Unlike early-time Buddhism, which was created by an Indian called Shakyamuni. “A new Buddhist sect, called Mahayana (the Great Vehicle), emerged in the first century A.D. It elevated the Buddha Shakyamuni to the status of a deity and expanded the pantheon with past and future Buddhas and attendant bodhisattvas. Mahayana Buddhism was especially popular in the Far East, including China, Korea, and Japan.” And Kuan-yin is a form of Bodhisattva. As I said before, Chinese...