Friday, August 08, 2008

Dharma where Dharma is Due

The writing on this Japanese scroll painting of Bodhidharma by Hakuin Ekaku reads, "Zen points directly to the human heart, see into your nature and become Buddha."

Bodhidharma, also known as Da Mo in China or Daruma in Japan, was an Indian monk who traveled to China and taught Chan Buddhism, which later spread to Japan and was called Zen.

He's considered the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism and his origins are shrouded in the proverbial legends that inevitably spring up around anybody who starts doing something that other people discredit themselves from being able to do, or find difficult to do.

Regardless of deification, he's an image I find infinitely fascinating, and enjoy seeing the many interpretations of him throughout China and Japan. Most recently, at the Takashi Murakami exhibit in the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, I saw a huge painting of this fierce teacher and was struck by how much I wanted to paint him one day. Definitely will be part of my Buddhist Series.

Anyway, as I painted the Yeti and Sasquatch, I realized--specifically with the Yeti painting and then later with the Sasquatch one--that I was incorporating aspects of Bodhidharma depictions into them.

Yay!

Perhaps that's why I like these two Original Finger Paintings so much. And maybe there will be more.

'Nuff said. It's time to show off the pictures!

Invite Beauty,

I.



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