use of cast iron became increasingly frequent from the Tang
Dynasty (618-906A.D.) onward. Although iron does not lend
itself to the same refinement as bronze, one has only to see
this sensitively realized Bodhisattva statue to feel its unique
quality as a sculpture medium other than bronze or wood carving.
Manjushri Bodhisattva is seated in lalitasana above a Guardian
Lion, his right hand holding a sceptre (joo-i), left a pearl
of wisdom, and wearing a double layered Tang style robe. His
face appears to be feminine, with serene and contemplative
expression. The guardian Lion is well detailed, and decorated
with foliate hem. With tongue hanging as if smiling, it appears
to be docile with great charm. There are losses in the sculpture,
and rust has created a unique grainy texture, it is nature's
unintentional aesthetic created with the passing of time,
thus fine detail in the Bodhisattva statue remains a witness
to the proud stance of its technical and spiritual significance.