Seated Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
11th century Chinese Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
wood, gesso, and pigment with gilding
Place made: Shanxi province
China Guanyin is a Buddhist deity, an enlightened being who remains in the material world to aid in the salvation of all mortals. He is portrayed here as a princely, androgynous man, wearing a tiered crown, bedecked with jewels, and richly clothed in the light, diaphanous silks of an Indian raja. The relaxed pose of Guanyin is known as “great royal ease.” He leans on one arm, his knee raised to rest his long, extended arm with sensitively rendered hand and fingers. The figure, also known as the Compassionate and Merciful One, is still and composed, but there is a sense of flowing movement amid swirls of silk and soft scarves that appear to ruffle and sway as if touched by a passing breeze.
Photographed with permission from Honolulu Museum of Art mylastbite.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/hawaii-waikiki-rum-fi...