Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shinjo Ito at the Milk Gallery

Shinjo Ito was born in Yamanashi, Japan in 1906 and died at the age of 83 in 1989. In addition to becoming an Acharya or Great Master of Buddhism, he was also an accomplished modern day sculptor. His resin and bronze based sculptures, Judas and Magnolia wood based carvings and silver gelatin prints are on view at the Milk Gallery in Chelsea. A great review here.

"I am no professional, So when I think about it, I feel uneasy as to how much of the loving kindness, compassion, and virtue of the Buddha the images I create with my amateur skills can express. But I do pour my soul into the job, with sincere heart, as if offering three bows for every cut of the chisel. The only thing clearly showing in my work may be that." - Shinjo Ito

The sculptures were peaceful, serene and beautiful. The parinirvana resin sculpture (picture below) had me thinking about Mahavishnu in repose (Ananthashayanam) at the 1000 year old Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum, India. I lived behind the temple for about four years. It was interesting to see the clear connections to Indian Vedic culture here.

Head of Shakyamuni, Plaster, 57 cm, 1960

Bust of Shakyamuni, Bronze, 31 cm, 1960

Great Parinirvana image, Resin, 422 cm, 1957

Detail of Great Parinirvana image

Tathagata Shakyamuni, Bronze, 39 cm, 1971

Achalanatha, Resin, 69cm, 1964

Self portrait, Resin, 60 cm, 1962

1 comment:

Sujith said...

These sculptures are so divine. I saw your wordpress blog and you have uploaded the completed painting on it. Just great, it's just great. CONGRATULATIONS.