Works of He Shan's Art from the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Collection
Preface / Venerable Ru Chang, Director, Buddha Museum
He Shan is a well-known Chinese artist expatriate in the United States and has great affinity with Fo Guang Shan for over 30 years. In 1994, when Fo Guang Shan was raising funds for Fo Guang University in Yilan, the community of artists and scholars in Taiwan started to launch an art auction. The artworks by He Shan were part of this event. He Shan devoted his whole life to the creation of magnificent works of art. The mural located in the Main Shrine of Fo Guang Shan Taipei Vihara is one of his representative works. It was completed in August 1994, hanging on each side of the main shrine. In the same year, Mr. He Shan held an exhibition at Fo Guang Shan in Kaohsiung. His paintings imitating the Dunhuang murals were subsequently collected at Fo Guang Shan. Anyone who visits the Main Shrine of Fo Guang Shan Taipei Vihara would be attracted to the murals on the walls. His exquisite skills and the use of delicate colors decorate the walls of the shrine. The Main Shrine has held many Dharma services led by the monastic community in the past 20 years, with countless devotees attending the services. The profound meaning and impact of Buddhist art on the mind of all living beings are abundant.
Buddhist arts were created by the past patriarchs, Buddhist devotees, monks, and artists, and their valuable contributions have become an important cultural heritage for more than 2,000 years. When my teacher was establishing temples worldwide, he made tremendous efforts in planning and designing the shrines and halls, as well as the Buddha statues. It is his hope that the solemn temples would be a place of relief and protection for all sentient beings. The 20-volume Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts was published in 2013 under the guidance and support of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. It has become the best reference for the academic study of Buddhist arts. The collection by He Shan contains copies of the Dunhuang murals. The editors of this collection wrote the descriptions according to the pictures and texts of the Encyclopedia of Buddhist Arts. They verified his paintings by comparing them with the original murals and checking the location of each artwork. We hope to provide additional information to the readers so that they can know about the hardships of Mr. He Shan during the years of his work at Dunhuang Caves. It is also our way of showing respect to the artist.
He Shan, now over 70 years old, is an art master nurtured in mainland China. He is both a painter and a scholar. His book, Culture of the Western Regions and Dunhuang Art, has been continuously reprinted for decades. His achievements today are obvious to everyone. This exhibition shows the collection of his works kept at Fo Guang Shan.