Buddha in Paradise:
Tibetan Art from the Rubin MuseumSeptember 16 - December 19, 2008
In Tibetan Buddhism, paradise is conceptualized as multiple perfect realms called "Pure Lands," which are distinct from the world we know and where enlightenment can be quickly attained. Rather than a monolithic understanding of paradise, Tibetan Buddhism embraces different approaches and teachings about these lands and how to reach them, the most radical of which is the realization that paradise is all around us if we are able to perceive it. This exhibition of paintings and sculpture from the Rubin Museum examines the different "Pure Lands" and the underlying philosophical beliefs by which they are defined. Richly colored and detailed paintings depict "The Wheel of Becoming," a map of Shambhala, and Buddha and the goddess Tara in the various "Pure Lands" they inhabit. This selection of tangka paintings and exquisite sculpture ranging from the 13th through the 20th century illustrate ideas and beliefs that have endured for thousands of years.
SPECIAL EVENT: Mandala Sand PaintingOctober 15 - 22
Over a period of one week, Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Namgyal Monastery will meticulously create a mandala, a circular painting made from colored grains of sand representing the sacred universe, in the Museum's Marble Court. Upon completion, the mandala will be cast into a body of water, in a gesture that symbolizes the impermanence of existence and the ideal of non-attachment to the material world. The public can watch the construction of the mandala during Museum hours, and is invited to join us for the dismantling of the mandala in the Marble Court on Wednesday, October 22 at 5 pm.
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