藝術弘法 ‧ 典藏真心
Propagating Dharma through Arts
Collecting with Wholehearted Devout
Curator of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Headquarters Shi Ru Chang
One of the four founding principles, “To Propagate Buddhist Teachings through Cultural Activities” was established by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan Monastery. In the career of Dharma-propagation, to promote the spiritual Humanistic Buddhism through artist programs is the responsibility of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery. It is difficult to estimate exactly how many artists becoming acquainted with us over past decades, but have more than thousands artists been able to hold the exhibition at Fo Guan Yuan Art Galley. Some people even suggested us to set up a system for managing the collection, they have been concerning about the conditions of Fo Guang Shan art collections over the years, while we are operating the art galleries.
As I recall Venerable Master Hsing Yun once said, “The gallery does not have any collections since beginning of founded at Fo Guang Shan, and is different from the national museums that received more than ten million in annual budget of collections. Therefore, currently all of our collections have been collected under caused and conditions in the early years, that included the works by contemporary artists such as Li Zijian, Shi Jin Hui, Gao Ertai and more. We truly know that each story in the collection is Venerable Master Hsing Yun treasures and cherishes the talents under his kindness and thought of protection. After passing several years at their great effort, it was gratifying to find these painters have become successful artists. Their collections in Fo Guang Shan were the most representative of artist creation in their lifetime!
Among the Fo Guang Shan early collection’s artists, Mr. He Daitian is one of the most popular Chinese painters, and known as world famous artist during the 1990s. The relationship between Mr. He and Fo Guang Shan is date back to 1994, when Venerable Master Hsing Yun hosted an artist charity bazaar for fundraising of Fo Guang University. Mr. He asked someone to donate one piece of his work for the charity, and was successfully being purchased by collector. Hundreds of his works have been collected and exhibited at Fo Guang Shan since then, and one of his famous work is based on a series of old house in countryside of China in Hunan Province. The profoundly moving theme of creation is depicted one’s own homeland in their paintings that Mr. He Daitian and Li Zijian both having the same theme. The deep homesickness of native land and old friends are full of abundant emotion in which between the lines sketched with coloured drawing in his paintings. I realized that the core of artwork’s value is among people and the emotion of human and land.
I am responsible for the administration of 24 Fo Guang Yuan Art Galleries worldwide more than ten years, and assigned as Director of Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. In management and development of gallery, our primary task is to run excellent exhibition for artists, also to provide the educational activities for observers. On the managing collections, the mainly purpose is to preserve and appropriate usage of collections. This is not our goal and capable of buying the art works. Therefore, the major source of incomes is from visitors and donation of exhibited artists. The artist’s donations are represented their honest heart. Whether we will exhibit or publish the picture albums in the future, artists and their works would make a find page on Dharma propagation in history, and were working together for the functions of promoting Buddha’s teaching through culture.