Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When Buddhism Went East

Called the Sulawesi Buddha after the Indonesian island where it was found, this statue is one of the finest pieces of bronze sculpture from ancient South-east Asia. It was unearthed in 1921 at Sikendung on the west coast of Sulawesi. The statue is in the Amaravati style of south India (3rd to 5th century CE) and was either imported from there or is a copy made by a local Indonesian sculptor. The statue was originally standing although it is now broken off at the waist and its right hand was in the gesture of imparting fearlessness (abhaya mudra) although both hands are now missing. The face has an expression of serene alertness and the features are sharply defined, especially the hair and the folds of the robes. The longitude of the find spot of the Sulawesi Buddha is approx longitude 118 degrees E making it the furthest east material evidence of Buddhism in ancient times has ever been found. The Sulawesi Buddha is now on display in the National Museum in Jayakarta.


fable said...

Looks like it's a life-size sculpure, a nice bronze sculpure to look at.

Terasi said...

If only this statue was not that damaged, it's a very beautiful statue.