Lecture: U of T/McMaster University Yehan Numata Program in Buddhist Studies
When discussing and analyzing Buddhist art, scholars typically rely and depend on textual sources. Moreover, scholars of Buddhist Studies maintain a view that images are meant to serve as “visualization aids” for meditation praxis. This talk will introduce several paintings from Mongolia which amply demonstrate what Dwight Conquergood has termed “text-performance hybridity,” where images were meant to serve as important primary sources of Buddhist practice, often without singular textual dependence. Supporting Religious Studies’ scholar Birgit Meyer’s notion that “religion is a multi-media phenomenon that mobilizes the full sensorium.” I will discuss the performative agency of these paintings seen in the ways they structure the participatory acts of their viewers and shape their mode of seeing to form the sense of their belonging and unity as a community.