SOAS University of London

SOAS exhibition of Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy art receives generous support from the Pure Land Foundation

7 June 2016
Calligraphy Art exhibition at SOAS

Mr Bruno Wang, founder of Pure Land Foundation has pledged a generous donation to SOAS University of London to host an exhibition honouring the 48th patriarch of the Linji Chan School Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy art.

The exhibition ‘One-Stroke Calligraphy by Venerable Master Hsing Yun’ will be held at Asia House from 28 June – 9 July, and is part of SOAS’ Centenary celebrations. The exhibition will coincide with a one-day international symposium on Chinese Buddhist arts, qin zither and calligraphy performances, Tea ceremony, and Dunhuang dance. This series of events is organised by Dr. Hwee-San Tan, and is facilitated by the SOAS China Institute and London Fo Guang Shan Temple.

Born in Jiangsu province, China, in 1927, Venerable Master Hsing Yun entered the Qixia monastery in Nanjing as a novice at the age of twelve and received full ordination in 1941. After arriving in Taiwan in 1949, he began his calligraphy by writing on cheap, red papers to encourage devotees to learn Buddhist phrases and to decorate the plain walls of the dilapidated temple he was living in at the time.

Calligraphy, the art of writing, is the most highly revered art form in traditional China. It also came to be a very important part of Buddhist spirituality and practice. Increasingly, Venerable Master Hsing Yun’s calligraphy became more and more sought after by devotees. Since the 1980s, he has customarily written Chinese New Year calligraphic scrolls for his followers.

The symposium on 3 July will bring together leading scholars of Chinese Calligraphy and Buddhist arts and address topics such as Buddhist images from the Stein Collection, Pure Land Buddhist paintings in 13 and 14 century Korea, the issues of restoration in the Dunhuang Caves, Buddhist landscapes in Asia and ecological perspectives of restoring Buddhist cave temples.

The Pure Land Foundation reflects Mr Wang’s well-established interests in meditation, holistic wellbeing, art and music. The Foundation supports institutions, charities and programmes that promote social, spiritual and emotional wellness, with an emphasis on art and music.

The London Fo Guang Shan Temple is one of the two hundred worldwide branches of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery founded in Taiwan by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1967.