96.8cm overall height:
a - figure; 53.5 x 40cm; height x diameter
b - stand; 57 x 50cm; height x diameter
This classic image of the Amida Buddha echoes the qualities of formality and spiritual serenity so characteristic of the Buddhist art of Japan. The personification of eternal life, compassion and boundless light, Amida is the Buddha who reigns over the Western Paradise. He is the central deity of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism that had its foundations in the teachings of the fourth-century Chinese monk Hui Yuan, and grew to become the most popular sect of the faith in East Asia. Central to its teachings is the doctrine that for rebirth in the Pure Land nothing more than the constant invocation of the name of Amida is required. In Japan, under the inspiration of the Heian period monk Genshin (942-1017), the sect gained immense influence: not only through its promise of a passage to the Paradise, but also through Genshin's colourful descriptions of the Western Paradise and the beguiling imagery and art they stimulated. Carved from a hard, dense nutmeg wood - with that inherent feeling for the qualities of the material for which the Japanese artist and craftsman are so admired - the image conveys the peace, harmony and spiritual certainty that is the promise of the Western Paradise of Amida.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 268.
'Buddha: Radiant awakening' by Adam Geczy, pg. 29-31., Art Asia Pacific [Issue 35] Jul 2002-Sep 2002, Jul 2002-Sep 2002, 29 (colour illus.), 30-31.
Jackie Menzies (Australia) (Editor), Buddha: Radiant awakening, Sydney, 2001, 105 (colour illus.), 186. cat.no. 77
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 268 (colour illus.).
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 212 (colour illus.).
'Introduction' by Jackie Menzies, pg. 9-17., Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales 1990, 1990, 14 (illus.).
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 78, 80 (illus.).
'The art of Buddhism and other worlds', The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales 2003, 2003, 191 (colour illus.).
Adventures in Asia. An education kit for the Asian gallery 2003, 2003, 9 (colour illus.). card no.9
Art speaks Japanese: Japanese language education kit from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2007, 2007, colour illus. card no. 01
Buddha: Radiant awakening, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 10 Nov 2001–24 Feb 2002.