Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) is a compassionate Buddhist saviour. Initially a male divinity, over time across East Asia Guanyin has often been presented in female form. Rather than pursuing Buddhahood, the merciful bodhisattva vowed to remain on earth until every sentient being achieves enlightenment and rebirth in the Buddhist paradise. Traces of colour remain on this wooden sculpture which was originally covered with white gesso and paint.
Place where the work was made
Song dynasty 960 - 1279 → China
12th century-13th century
114.0 x 60.0 x 52.0 cm
Bequest of Sydney Cooper 1982
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Buddhist Art from the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 May 1995–10 Sep 1995
Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019
Walking with gods, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2019–12 Jan 2020
Sydney Cooper, 13 Oct 1964-Mar 1982, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, purchased in China before Oct 1964. Documented as being in Cooper’s house in Selborne, England on 13 Oct 1964. Moved to Australia. Bequeathed to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1982.
Referenced in 5 publications
Jackie Menzies, Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 9-17, Sydney, 1990, 12, 13 (colour illus.).
John Saxby, Look, 'Lindy Lee. The art that made me.' inteview, pg. 12-13, Sydney, Aug 2015, 12 (colour illus.).
LIU Yang, Orientations, 'The Discovery of Mass: A Footnote to the Stylistic and Iconographic Innovation in Chinese Buddhist Sculpture', pg. 88-95, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 94 (colour illus.). fig.5
Portrait of a Gallery, 'Asian Art', pg. 106-113, Sydney, 1984, 109 (colour illus.).
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 10 (colour illus.).