David Henry Hwang
The three heads of
Buddha evoke another issue which interests me: how images are appropriated
by different peoples in order to reflect themselves and differing standards
of beauty. Note the almost Greek or Roman features of the Pakistani Buddha,
as opposed to the more Asian characteristics of those from Cambodia and
Indonesia. Which is the more "authentic" depiction of the great thinker?
Clearly, different peoples and generations have always reinterpreted images
and stories to suit their own needs.
I like it when I can see the face of the man on the street who just
sold me a bunch of rambutans in the face of a Buddha. The globular
contour of the eye under the skin, the luxurious ear lobes, the
full smile, and the large nose combine to suggest a graciousness,
an abundance, and an openness.