Realms of Faith
The exhibition “Realms of Faith,” corresponding with Kaikodo Journal XV, was held between March 18 and April 15, 2000. The idea for the exhibition was prompted by the beginning of a new millennium and allowed us to summon some of the powers that be from the spiritual realms of East Asia and assemble them in an army of faith and optimism in the New York gallery. A Yue celadon hunping represents not only faith in the efficacy of the richly ornamented 3rd-4th century funerary urn to assist the departed soul in its path in the afterlife but also an extraordinarily inventive stage in early celadon production in China. Nu Wa (the female) and Fu Xi (the male) are half-human, half serpent cosmic deities, the primordial female and male, who existed between chaos and culture, emerging from chaos to give birth to culture, are represented with their intertwined snake bodies in an earthenware construct of the Tang period. Faith in the efficacy of repetitiveness in the Buddhist realm—listen in your mind’s eye to Buddhist chants—finds tangible form in a Thousand-Buddha stone stele also of the Tang period. Among the great rarities were a multi-storied wooden pagoda of the Liao period and a monumental stucco head of a bodhisattva. A lohan cutting his toenails and the Eighteen Lohan were some of the subjects of the Chinese paintings on view, while a Korean painting of the Water Moon Guanyin and a Japanese rendition of the same subject in a stunningly contrasting style added to the numerous highlights of the show.