Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Art - Japanese Mandala...

14th-15th C., Hanging scroll, color on silk
138.5 x 122.2

Today I thought we would travel to a different time period. This is one of two mandalas that make up Ryokai Mandala or Two World Mandala. This one is the Taizokai Mandala or Womb World Mandala. The mandala is a graphic depiction of the spiritual universe and its myraid realms and deities. Much later the mandala was adopted as a powerful aid to meditation and concentration. It is believed that the oldest color mandala was brought to Japan in 859 AD.

In the Mandala artform five elements are considered inanimate - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Only by adding the sixth element -- mind, perception, or spiritual consciousness -- do the five become animate. Phrased differently, there is “unity” only when the sixth element is added. Without the sixth element, ordinary eyes see only the differentiated forms or appearances.

image and description from here.

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