Object 3: The Giant Buddha of Leshan

May 27, 2021

Object+3%3A+The+Giant+Buddha+of+Leshan

My third object is the largest stone buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun (Hill, Brian 2018). This statue was allegedly carved in 803 during the Tang Dynasty and found in the Sichuan province, China. The statue is believed to be buddha Maitreya but is given its name due to its placement near the city of Leshan. This mountain was enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is visited by millions each year, including Buddhist monks.

This object is enriching to my exhibition as some Buddhists who value their faith and religion will go to lengths such as traveling between continents to enrich themselves with the knowledge of sites like the giant buddha of Leshan. The pursuit of knowledge of ones own faith can be highly valued to many and depending on personal values and their interpretation of religion, can lead individuals to acquire knowledge in different lengths. For a real-world example, a Buddhist monk who greatly values his faith would go to greater lengths to physically visit the Giant Buddha of Leshan, unlike a catholic who would not go to such lengths as typically traveling abroad to acquire the knowledge of the history or the unique architecture of the statue.

My object is also enriching to my exhibition as it is interpreted in different ways, affecting the acquisition of knowledge by the different beliefs/values that individuals have. Whilst some believe the tales of Buddhists passed down from generations as concrete knowledge, others value the historical aspect of this statue. The acquisition of the knowledge gained by visiting the statue would be different for the two who value separate things as these two perspectives change the interpretation based on their values. If one valued its history, they would acquire that knowledge, such as that it was built to calm the turbulent waters that killed many and by a Hai Tong Monk Leshan, but the religious Buddhist would acquire knowledge by speaking to other Buddhists to understand the tale of the buddha depicted (Vredeveld).

 

Reference:

Exhibition 1:
Lee, Jess. 18 June 2019. Designated Survivor star speaks out after character exit in season 3. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/a28080910/designated-survivor-hannah-wells- death-maggie-q-netflix/

Exhibition 2:
Raypole, Crystal. April 16 2021. What is moxibustion? Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.healthline.com/health/moxibustion

Hafner, Christopher. Moxibustion. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/moxibustion

Exhibition 3:
Hill, Brian. 2018, July 23. The Leshan Giant buddha: Largest Stone Buddha in the world. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/leshan-giant-buddha-largest- stone-buddha-world-003398

Vredeveld, Peter. The Oldest Buddhas in the World. Retrieved May 05, 2021

https://antique-buddhas.com/antique-buddhas/the-oldest-buddhas-in-the-world/

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