Craftsman seeks to influence aesthetics of Buddha statues

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-23 07:22:26

Craftsman seeks to influence aesthetics of Buddha statues

A Buddha statue by the sculptor. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When he was a sophomore at the sculpture school of the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, he once had to repair the hand of a statue at a temple in Suzhou, in East China's Jiangsu province.

The days spent living in the temple and immersing himself in the world of Buddhism drew him more deeply to the faith.

Since then, he has visited many grottoes housing Buddha statues and learned a lot from his teacher, who is an expert on the subject.

After graduating in 2013, Jiang returned to his hometown Xiangmen in Fujian province, also in the country's east, where Buddhism has long been popular. There he set up a studio to make Buddha statues and quickly began receiving inquiries from temples, hotels and Buddhists.

A Buddha statue can take him between six months and three years to complete.

Usually, statues for temples are made in factories. But Jiang's studio is different.

"Every year, temple managers come to me and talk about an order. But only a few do a deal with me because many of them still can't accept my statues.

"It needs time to change the masses' aesthetics of Buddha statues," he says.

Jiang says that the temples which accept his statues are always the newly built ones, such as a temple in Singapore and a temple featuring modern architecture in Shanghai.

However, he also received an order from the South Putuo Temple in Xiamen-a famous Buddhist temple founded during the Tang Dynasty (618-907)-to make a statue.

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