Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kukai (Kōbō-Daishi)

Kukai (Kōbō-Daishi) was a 9th century Japanese monk, civil servant, scholar, poet, artist and founder of the Shingon or 'True Word' school of Buddhism. According to Japanese folklore, he is not dead, but 'meditating' beneath Mount Koya, awaiting the coming of Maitreya. Kukai's followers deliver him nourishment and a change of clothes daily, and a massive cemetery has sprung around his resting place.

This fifth piece in my King Under Mountain series was perhaps the most enjoyable to make, as it was rendered entirely in pastel. Despite the trickiness of the medium, it yields beautiful effects with enough patient experimentation.

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