The Buddha and the swarm of minutiae: provocative new artwork by Gonkar Gyatso on display at the Met

The Buddha and the swarm of minutiae: provocative new artwork by Gonkar Gyatso on display at the Met.

Konchog Norbu24 February 2014
Image via www.metmuseum.org

This 2013 artwork, Dissecting Buddha by Lhasa-born Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, is on display as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations exhibit now through June 8. Have a look (you can even go to the Met site and use a zooming tool to examine myriad details of the work; click on “fullscreen” and use your cursor to move the image around) and then see if you agree with the part of the Met’s description of the work reproduced after the jump.

From the Met’s description:

“The Buddha himself is made up of a bright, textually dense mass of imagery that in its entirety defies comprehension, but one is seductively drawn in all the same and rewarded with a rich tapestry of familiar and appealing forms as well as a collage of whimsical texts and captions questioning the political status quo: a swarm of minutiae that demands (and deserves) the viewer’s careful attention but in the process rapidly distracts from the whole. This is the key to Gyatso’s making us experience losing sight of the Buddha amid the irrelevant but glittering fragments of mass-produced consumer media.”

Konchog Norbu

Konchog Norbu

Konchog Norbu became a Buddhist in 1990 and ordained as a monk in 1993. Since then, he has overseen communications and media relations for several dharma organizations, authored the widely-read blog Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa during a four-year stint in Mongolia, and filled his begging bowl on occasion with freelance writing and editing gigs.