Japan Exhibit: Artists from Japan, South Korea team up for Buddhist statue exhibition in Nara (until 21 July)

Asahi Shimbun
KAZUTO TSUKAMOTO
12 July 2014

A Miroku-bosatsu Buddhist statue is surrounded by toy deer in the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art in Nara. (Kazuto Tsukamoto)

A Miroku-bosatsu Buddhist statue is surrounded by toy deer in the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art in Nara. (Kazuto Tsukamoto)

NARA–A Japanese artist and his South Korean counterpart have joined forces to show how Buddhist culture was brought to Japan through the Korean Peninsula with a special exhibition featuring “Miroku-bosatsu” Buddhist statues.

The work of 53-year-old sculptor Takashi Kikuchi and artist Park Dong-ki, 47, is currently on display at the Nara Prefectural Museum of Art.

Kikuchi has held exhibitions of contemporary art and photos in Japan and South Korea after forming a group of artists from the two countries called “Forest-Beyond.”

Kikuchi carved three 1.3-meter-tall styrene figures and covered them with red, yellow and orange wool.

Park created more than 20 ceramic statues, some of which are placed on a wooden boat created in ancient style by Kikuchi. Miroku-bosatsu statues are popular in both countries.

“I want visitors to think about the history and the future of exchanges between Japan and South Korea through Miroku-bosatsu statues, which are symbols of a peaceful and orderly future,” Kikuchi said.

The statues are part of the special exhibition, “Beauty on the Edge–Contemporary Art Nara,” which will continue in the museum until July 21. Admission is 800 yen ($8) for adults, 600 yen for university students and senior high school students, and 400 yen for junior high school students and elementary school students.

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