Friday, May 6, 2016

Buddhist Caves of Dunhuang, Getty LA; CC Liu, Dhr. Seven via Roshi Jeff Albrizze ( Wikipedia edit
Cave Temples of Dunhuang at the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, May 7-Sept. 4, 2016
Ancient manuscripts, Library Cave
(Wiki) The Western Thousand Buddha Caves refers to a Buddhist cave temple site in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China.
The site is located approximately 21 miles (35 km) southwest of the urban center and about the same distance from the Yangguan Pass.

The area once served as a staging post for travelers on the Silk Road (Xuerong) north of Afghanistan.

It is the western counterpart of the Mogao Caves, also known as the "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas."
Prof. Robert Thurman
For more than 20 years, theater and opera director Peter Sellars has been studying the Vimalakīrti Sutra -- a 1st century AD allegorical text of Buddhist teachings, scenes of which are well-represented in the Dunhuang cave temples -- and is collaborating with artists, composers, and scholars to stage a full-scale production that is anticipated to premiere in 2020.

At the Getty, Sellars will be joined by Robert Thurman, Uma's dad, the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Colombia University, for a discussion about Dunhuang and the Vimalakīrti Sutra as sources of inspiration for artists and for Sellars' forthcoming production. More
They are named after the founding monk Yuezun's vision in 366 of a "golden radiance in the form of a thousand Buddhas" (Whitfield).

The caves were excavated from a cliff that runs along the north bank of the Dang River. Some have been lost to floods and collapse.

Forty are still extant; 22 of the decorated caves house 34 polychrome statues and 800 square meters of wall paintings, dating from the Northern Wei to the late-Yuan and early-Ming Dynasties, sixth to fourteenth centuries (Zhang).

The site was included within the 1961 designation of the Mogao Caves as a Major National Historical and Cultural Site. More
  • Zhang Xuerong, ed. (1998). 敦煌西千佛洞石窟 [Dunhuang Western Thousand Buddha Caves]. 甘肃人民美术出版社. pp. 4-5. 
  • Whitfield, Roderick (et al.) (2000). Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and History on the Silk Road. Getty Conservation Institute. pp. 5, 9.

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