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Votive plaque with walking Buddha and multiple small seated Buddhas
Place of Origin: Thailand, probably from the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana, Ayutthaya
Date: approx. 1400-1425
Materials: Lead-tin alloy with traces of gilding
Style or Ware: Ayutthaya
Dimensions: H. 10 in x W. 5 3/8 in x D. 1/2 in, H. 25.4 cm x W. 13.7 cm x D. 1.3 cm
Credit Line: Asian Art Museum
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: 2010.512
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Fragments and Fractals
This plaque depicts a walking Buddha, a type that is rare in Buddhist art outside Thailand but fairly common in the sculpture of north central Thailand. Many objects virtually identical to this one were placed in the sacred chambers of Buddhist temples. The background of this plaque is filled with Buddhas, beings who have comprehended the totality of existence. By extension, each small-scale image represents the entirety of the Buddha's message. Such objects are ideal for miniaturization and transport.

While not explicitly Lightning Vehicle art, these plaques use a similar "fractal" principle seen in the Tibetan paintings at the center of this gallery: the whole is present in each of its parts, which are functionally identical to the whole. It's as if each pixel of the image contains the whole image.

 


More Information

Exhibition History: "The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800" Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, February 18, 2005 - May 8, 2005, Peabody Essex Museum, July 16, 2005 - October 16, 2005

Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum
Label:

Fragments and Fractals
This plaque depicts a walking Buddha, a type that is rare in Buddhist art outside Thailand but fairly common in the sculpture of north central Thailand. Many objects virtually identical to this one were placed in the sacred chambers of Buddhist temples. The background of this plaque is filled with Buddhas, beings who have comprehended the totality of existence. By extension, each small-scale image represents the entirety of the Buddha's message. Such objects are ideal for miniaturization and transport.

While not explicitly Lightning Vehicle art, these plaques use a similar "fractal" principle seen in the Tibetan paintings at the center of this gallery: the whole is present in each of its parts, which are functionally identical to the whole. It's as if each pixel of the image contains the whole image.

 


Exhibition History: "The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800" Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, February 18, 2005 - May 8, 2005, Peabody Essex Museum, July 16, 2005 - October 16, 2005

Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum