Entry : Free
Venue : Twin Art Gallery 2, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), 1, Central Vista (CV) Mess, Janpath, New Delhi-110001
Landmark : Opp. National Archives, adjoining India Gate Lawns
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Metro : Nearest Metro Station – ‘Central Sectt.’ (Yellow Line and Violet Line)
Event Description : EXHIBITION “Avalokitesvara/Guanyin: Feminine symbolism in Buddhist Art” a photography show.
Avalokitesvara is the most popular Mahayana Bodhisattva and his cult has played an important role in the growth of Mahayana Buddhism and art. The images of Avalokitesvara in India are not feminine, although the body has a sensual form. The well known painting of Padmapani in Cave No.1 of Ajanta no doubt has a sensuous body, but taken as a whole, looks a male Bodhisattva. The paintings of the famous artist Ravi Varma, do not show Hindu Gods as strongly masculine. Essential features of manliness like muscles, broad shoulders are present but there is a touch of conspicuous feminine quality in the images.
It is not known exactly when the Guan-yin came to be regarded as female deity for the first time. Majority of the scholars are of the opinion that the transformation of Guan-yin into female deity took place about the 11th century A. D. But this seems to have been the product of a long process and this might have been influenced by many factors combined to bring the sexual transformation.