Category Archives: Festival

Art, discourse and vision

This Festival ran from November 21 to November 24. – Buddhist art news

Arts_2The Asian Age
Nov 21, 2014 – Nandini D. Tripathy

Dharma River
‘The Inner Path: Festival of Buddhist Film, Art and Philosophy’ in its third edition brings together films, art, photography, music and discourse

“Film is a great culture-carrier and can open many doors,” Aruna Vasudev, President of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) observes as she talks about the third edition of “The Inner Path: Festival of Buddhist Film, Art and Philosophy” presently ongoing in the capital at Alliance Francaise, Lodhi Road. The four-day event begun on November 21 and on till November 24 embodies a composite meet on Buddhism and incorporates films, art, creative demonstrations, discourses and musical performances. The festival opened yesterday to a recital by Venerable Ani Choying Drolma, the internationally noted singing nun from Nepal.

“The whole idea behind the festival is to open the doors to Buddhism for everyone,” Aruna continues and adds, “I’ve noticed that today, a lot of young people in particular are turning towards Buddhism in a search for answers. They don’t believe in religious practices and are therefore taking to what Buddhists call the sangha where they meet like-minded people and build a support system for themselves. I know they are interested and thought that films can be a great means to enable them to understand Buddhist principles better. Besides the screenings, we also have discourses where people can listen and also ask questions.”

The event will screen sixteen feature and documentary films by filmmakers from across the globe, including two by Singapore-based filmmaker Royston Tan – Little Note and Popiah and three by US-based filmmaker John Bush – Dharma River, Prajna Earth and Vajra Sky Over Tibet. Aruna shares, “This festival began because I found that many cities all over the world, from San Francisco and London to Bangkok and Mexico, were organising Buddhist film festivals while there was no such thing in India. Since I have a background in film, I thought I must do something like that here but also felt that films must be complimented and supplemented by other forms of creative expression as well as an opportunity to talk and listen to people who can guide you and show you the way. That’s how we put everything together.”

Accompanying the film screenings is an art and photography exhibition featuring the works of 20 artists hailing from varied regional and personal backgrounds. Titled “Looking Inward”, the showcase is curated by Elizabeth Rogers and delves into the creative process, exploring each artist’s search for a deeper meaning as well as inspiration for their work. Talking about the exhibition, Elizabeth says, “We’ve brought together people from different backgrounds and each of the artists across different artistic media has taken a different chapter or vision. There is also some very highly personal calligraphy inspired by Buddhist philosophy. Then there are paintings by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa who is a writer, philosopher, lama, educator and also a painter. There is also Saba Hassan, whom most people know for her organic, mix media works but the ones displayed here are part of a new body of work she has been doing, involving abstract photography based on nature.”
Aruna concludes by saying, “The Thangka painting demonstration by well-known Indian artist Sidharth should be very interesting among other things and Most Venerable Geshe Jangcup Choeden as well as Dato Ananda Kumaraseri who will give discourses are extraordinary people. We’re hoping to make the festival more participatory this time in order to create a lively atmosphere.”

[link]

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All things art at 2015 Jaipur Literature festival

Press Trust of India

New Delhi: Dialogues on art history and art appreciation along with sessions focusing on different aspects of Indian art will also play a major role at the upcoming eighth Zee Jaipur Literature Festival.

A session on art as well as a look at the interplay between Buddhism and architecture with Llewelyn Morgan from Oxford University who will be discussing the Buddhist artworks at Bamiyan in Central Afghanistan is among the line up, organisers said.

Acclaimed Pakistani painter, writer and academic Salima Hashmi is also set to throw light on unknown masterpieces of Pakistani art at the literary festival that begins in Jaipur on January 21.

Celebrated British poet and great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel is another name to look out for during the event.

According to an updated list, released by organisers the literature festival has 181 participants and the number is expected to go up further.

As an integral part of the Indian narrative, one of the prominent theme for 2015 is set to be be cinema and its relationship with novels and theatre.

Kannada screenwriter, actor, director and winner of the Jnanpith Award Girish Karnad is set to be in conversation with prominent contemporary film-makers, and one of Britain’s most in-demand theatre directors, Tim Supple is scheduled to explore the influence of Shakespeare in contemporary Indian cinema.

Cinema giants and firm Festival favourites Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi would talk about poetry and Indian cinema. Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Vijay
Seshadri has been lined up to join prominent Hindi poets Kedarnath Singh and Vinod Kumar Shukla.

Acclaimed Marathi Dalit writer Urmilia Pawar and Mumbai based thespian Sushma Deshpande are set to speak of their theatrical collaborations in adapting Pawar’s autobiography “Aaydan” at the festival.

Celebrated British poet and great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel is another name to look out for during the event.

[link]

Dancing With the Dead

huffingtonpost.com
Stephen Henry Fox
07/09/2014

 

2014-07-07-Obon0001.JPG

The Obon transcends time, connecting the living to centuries of ancestors, an unbroken line dancing across the eons around the yagura.

Immigrant farm workers from Japan and Okinawa brought the Obon festival, orBonduri, with them to Hawaii, and each summer, traditional drums, flutes, and voices accompany dancers at every Buddhist temple across the state. No Obonappeals to the imagination more than the Lahaina Jodo Mission’s, with its floating lantern ceremony.

A distraught disciple, Mokuren, implored the Buddha to help his recently departed mother find liberation from her purgatory in the Bardo realm, according to the lore of the Obon. The festival celebrates the liberation of that soul, and by extension, seeks liberation of us all as we depart the world of mortal limitation. On another level, the Bonduri festival echoes ancestral veneration rituals of ancient China, in which the ancestors are invited to return, dine, drink, and dance with the living, feel loved and appreciated across time, and return to the world of spirit. On the first day of the festival, the welcoming mukae bi fire draws departed ancestors to gather near. Ritual offerings nourish them and prayers seek to assuage any residual issues holding the souls back from ultimate cosmic bliss. Then the ancestors are thanked for their benevolence and sent off to the spirit realms, symbolized by the okuri bi lights of floating lanterns in Lahaina and a couple of other seaside temples around Hawaii. Continue reading

A Buddhist Tradition: Boating Through Bago Paddy Fields

THE IRRAWADDY
JPAING
July 16, 2014

People make offerings to the statue of Kamae Phyin Bo Bo Gyi . (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

People make offerings to the statue of Kamae Phyin Bo Bo Gyi . (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

KA WA, Bago Division — Once every year, this sleepy provincial town in Bago Division sees a throng of visitors.

Under cloudy skies on the Full Moon Day of Waso, thousands of Buddhists from Rangoon and the divisional capital Bago descend upon the town of Ka Wa to pay homage to Khamae Pyin Bo Bo Gyi, a local guardian spirit long believed to offer blessings of safety, prosperity and good health.

The town is about 22 miles from Bago, and when visitors arrive for the holiday, they look forward to another joyous activity: throwing water at each other during a boat-ride through flooded paddy fields on the way to the guardian spirit’s shrine. Continue reading

Thailand: traditional candle festival marks the start of Buddhist Lent

Travel Daily News
03 July 2014
For modern Buddhist monks, it is a time of retreat and reflection. Buddhist Lent, or Khao Phansa as it is known in Thailand, lasts for three months. During this period, monks stay within their temples for study and adhere strictly to the teachings of the Lord Buddha.

BANGKOK – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invites international and local travellers to join the Thai Buddhist community nationwide in marking the start of this year’s Buddhist Lent from 11 – 13 July.
Legend has it that when the Lord Buddha was travelling and spreading his teachings, it was traditional for ascetics to retire to retreats during the rainy season. This period was known as vassa and was aimed at preventing crop damage during vital growing periods.
For modern Buddhist monks, it is a time of retreat and reflection. Buddhist Lent, or Khao Phansaas it is known in Thailand, lasts for three months. During this period, monks stay within their temples for study and adhere strictly to the teachings of the Lord Buddha.

Continue reading

Chasing away the evil spirits! Himalayan village’s colourful Buddhist festival

Daily Telegraph
30 June 2014

Caught on film: Dancer twirls around at the little-known Torgya Festival in Tawang

Caught on film: Dancer twirls around at the little-known Torgya Festival in Tawang

A quiet Himalayan mountain village springs to life for a colourful Buddhist festival designed to expel evil spirits and bring happiness.

The annual Torgya Festival in Tawang, in north-eastern India, is full of colourful dancing, music and theatre.

The three day festival is held in the courtyard of the Tawang monastery, which is nestled on top of the hill overlooking the town.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Photo essay: Buddhists Around the World Celebrate Vesak

David Sim
May 13, 2014

A child drops coins into golden Buddha statues on Vesak Day at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Buddhists across the world celebrate Vesak to honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha 2,550 years ago

A child drops coins into golden Buddha statues on Vesak Day at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Buddhists across the world celebrate Vesak to honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha 2,550 years ago

Buddhists across the world are celebrating Vesak, usually called ‘Buddha’s birthday’, but actually marking the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha.

For more photos, follow the [link].