Exhibition of paintings on Lord Buddha by Social Welfare official Mallikarjuna Rao evokes good response in China

Promoting Buddhist sculptures of Amaravathi, Guntur district, is a passion that has taken West Godavari Joint Director of Social Welfare R. Mallikarjuna Rao to Yiwu near Shanghai in China with all his paintings on Lord Buddha.

In a telephonic conversation from Shanghai, Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao told The Hindu that the exhibition that concluded on Monday night proved to be good crowd-puller, with a number of Chinese people visiting the gallery from December 8 to 12. The exhibition was organised at Neworb Hall by the Neworb Organisation. The gallery is very close to Yiwu International Trade Centre.

The exhibition was to promote the Dhyana Buddha and Amaravathi as a Buddhist destination.

The national emblem Ashok Chakra or the State emblem ‘Poorna Kumbham' had been derived from the internationally-acclaimed Buddhist sculptures of Amaravathi, and popularising them through paintings goes a long way, he said. Though not a professional painter, Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao had come up with a series of 16 paintings of 3 feet x 2 feet along with an explanation on the importance of Buddhist sculpture, which got evolved into a specialised school of sculpting, now renowned the world over. The Greeko-Roman art forms were prominently visible on the sculptures, which were put in place between 3 BC and 3 AD.

Dhyana Buddha

‘Kalachakra' conducted by Lord Buddha at Amaravathi adds greater significance to the place and sculptures.

Mr. Rao, who has been sculpting the 120-ft Dhyana Buddha at Amaravathi, is a connoisseur of Buddhist art, sculpture, and literature.

The essence of sculptures of Amaravathi was fertile literature of Buddhism, its symbols, images, and deities.

“The sculptures contain insignia of Buddhism, emblems of sovereignty, mythical animals, chariots, ornaments of men and women, gateways, along with furniture and utensils, which I have depicted in my paintings while showing Buddha in matching mudra,” Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao explained.