Finding new ways of expanding your own personal knowledge of foreign culture and religion should be at the top of every New Yorker’s list. Considering that in this very city there are hundreds of museums, galleries and organizations dedicated to the free flow of culture across boundaries.
The Rubin Museum was one such fantastical place, home to four floors of statues, mandalas and iconography from the far east and the Himalayan mountains. The exhibits revolve around the different periods of enlightenment that occurred after the anointment of Buddhism and the various sects that evolved from its birth.
There were several reasons why I wanted to visit, the first of which stems from my own interest in Asian cultures, the second was the fact that we were hosting a close friend of Laotian and Thai decent who is a practicing Buddhist, and the third was simply that I don’t know when I will ever have the good fortune to visit Tibet and rural China/India for myself. The artwork was contagiously intricate and detailed. Giving whole new meaning to my understanding of the tradition of miniature painting and the religion of Buddhism as well.
The fourth reason I wanted to visit this collection was to see for myself the depth of the intricacy involved in creating these sculptures and paintings, as I hope to tie the style into a current project I am working on, creating a logo based on a “Mon” or emblem. I can now take my sketches to a new level by incorporating the highly detailed mandala’s that were dispersed throughout the collection, each with their own unique and beautiful meanings.
If you have not had a chance to visit the Rubin Museum, I highly recommend you visit their website and schedule a guided tour to maximize your understanding of the Himalayan culture.