Ding Yunpeng, attrib.
Album of Guardian Kings, Lohan, and White-robed Guanyin
This album depicts Buddhist figures painted on bodhi leaves, which are associated with the Buddha whose enlightenment occurred beneath a bodhi tree. The first two leaves of this album mimic the experience of entering a Buddhist temple. As the four entrances of a Buddhist temple are protected by the kings of the four cardinal directions, so do these kings appear in the inaugural pages of this album, protecting the subsequent eighteen lohan and bodhisattva Guanyin. This image portrays the King of the East, identified by his lute, standing alongside the King of the West, identified by the orange serpent in his left hand. The King of the East’s red robe vividly stands out against the album’s indigo-dyed paper, which mimics the traditional blue paper for Buddhist sutras, or sacred texts.
Anna Kosovsky, Bowdoin ’08