Founding of the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery

 In 1949, after Venerable Master Hsing Yun had arrived in Taiwan to propagate Buddhism, he started collecting Buddhist art items. He often saved his meal expenses in order to purchase those artworks. Venerable Master even endured the pain in his arms and legs to personally carry stone Buddha statues from miles away. And when others mocked him as being a “traveler with stocks,” he tolerated in silence.

 When Fo Guang Shan was first established, a modest collection of Buddhist art items was exhibited at Tsung Lin University to help devotees understand Buddhism through exposure to Buddhist art. Later, in 1994, Fo Guang Shan and Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) held an Alms Procession Fundraising Campaign to support the establishment of Fo Guang University.

 Art sales for charity were also held, and Venerable Master donated his collection of art works by famous artists. Internationally renowned artists and art collectors were drawn together to the sale. It was a very successful event, and this good affinity with people in the arts industry marked the establishment of Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery. From then on, the name “Fo Guang Yuan,” which means “Buddha’s Light Affinity,” refers to any organization or activity conducted for the purpose of building good affinity between the society and Buddhism.

 From 1988 to 2019, Fo Guang Yuan Art Galleries were opened in many locations. The first gallery was established at Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Galleries were subsequently expanded to Fo Guang Shan branch temples including Hsi Lai Temple in the USA, Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and Nan Tien Temple in Australia, Fo Guang Shan Malaysia, Fo Guang Shan Hsing Ma Si, New Zealand Fo Guang Shan, Mabuhay Temple in the Philippines,Bukouzan Housuiji in Japan, Fo Guang Vihara in Hong Kong, Fahua Temple in France, and Dajue Temple, Hsing Yun Culture and Education Center, Jiaying Huiguan, and Jianzhen Library in China, as well as branch temples in Taiwan such as the Buddha Memorial Center, Taipei Vihara, Pingtung Buddhist Center, Lan Yang Temple, Fu Shan Temple, Hui Zhong Temple, Nan Tai Temple, and Nan Ping Temple. Today, there are a total of 27 galleries around the world. Although high maintenance costs create budgetary challenges, these art exhibitions have garnered high praise and feedback, which affirmed Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s belief in spreading Buddhism through art.

 The aim of the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery is not only to propagate Buddhism but also to purify the people’s mind, and to serve the community by providing a place for spiritual growth and an opportunity to integrate Buddhism with culture and art. Such educational opportunities plant the roots to future generations, promoting children and family activities, bringing art into daily life, and spreading joy to the world.