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Chinese Lacquer Gilt Wood Buddha
Kwan Yin

Avalokiteshvara in Namasakara
Ming Dynasty, 17th Century
h.25.5 in.(65cm.) X w.17 in.(23cm.) X d.12in.(25.5cm.)
Condition: Gilt and pigment erosions

The Indian boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara assumed the female form of Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, during the period of the Sung Dynasty (960-1276). Her Chinese name Kuan Yin means 'Sound Observer'.

Seated here in meditation with her eyes lowered, Kwan Yin folds her hands together in a blessing gesture. However, her raised right knee suggests movement often seen in Chinese Buddhas, but her right foot that is firmly resting on a lotus leaf owes its origin to the Tibetan Tara; which also reflects a state of relaxation and generally known as "royal ease". Furthermore, her crown and slightly tilted head displays the Tibetan influence melding with the characteristic seated pose found in many Chinese statues. Her earrings and necklace mark this statue as a more regal rather than ascetic boddhisattva. This statue is hollowed which is a technique used to prevent cracking in the wood. The lacquered surface is gilded in gold.

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Kwan Yin Avalokiteshvara Statue
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