Wish of a Lifetime
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        Twenty Year History
 
 

 

In 1996, Loretta Hui-shan Yang found herself gazing upon the mural of the Guanyin of Thousand Arms and Eyes in Dunhuang’s third grotto.  As she scanned the gradually deteriorating image, she vowed to create the third grotto by the mural in Liuli.  This would become her “wish of a lifetime”.

In April 1999, Ms. Jinshi Fan, Director of Dunhuang Academy China invited Hui-shan Yang to show her collection when the one-hundred anniversary gala commemorating the discovery of the grottoes.  Loretta Yang began in earnest to sculpt the three-dimensional rendition of the mural she saw three years prior.  There are a total of 492 existing grottoes; to encourage and support her, Director Fan bestowed the honor of the 493rd grotto upon Hui-shan Yang.

For five straight months, Hui-shan Yang and her team worked day and night on the sculpture.  On September 21, 1999, a 7.6 degree of earthquake damaged Taiwan and shook the 100 cm original clay form of the Guanyin to the ground, leaving five months of work in ruin.

The original sculpture was limited to 100 cm due to constraints of the kiln.  When Hui-shan Yang picked up a ball of rough clay to start over two days later, she set aside the limitations of “progress”, “time”, “dimension” and “completion”.  Facing this awareness, Hui-shan Yang was liberated.  For three days and nights, she worked endlessly, not even stopping to rest her stinging eyes.  In May 2000, a brand-new 160 cm sculpture was born and surpassed the original form by 60 cm. It made its debut at the Dunhuang Academy.

Hui-shan Yang created yet another larger sculpture reaching 4.4 meters that showed in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Singapore, and the LIULI China Museum in Shanghai to an audience of over 300,000.  In February of this year, it exhibited at Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan to an audience of over 100,000.

Wish of a Lifetime has been a project eighteen years in the making.  Its significance in relation to Dunhuang’s Buddhist culture is impressive.  But the realistic implications are even more so.  Eighteen years or twenty-eight years - how long will it take to complete the sculpture?  This is Loretta Hui-shan Yang’s Wish of a Lifetime.  She says, “If I can not complete it, others will continue it.”

Thousand Arms, Thousand Eyes, Possessing the Knowledge of Sorrow

“Thousand Arms, Thousand Eyes, Possessing the Knowledge of Sorrow”, the 100 cm high Liuli Guanyin of the Thousand Arms and Eyes is an important stage in the creation of Wish of a Lifetime.  The Liuli rendition of the mural from Dunhuang’s third grotto sets the record as the world’s largest Liuli Buddhist sculpture to be created by the pâte-de-verre. It has been prominently featured in The Corning Museum of Glass’ 2008 New Glass Review.
    Thousand Arms, Thousand Eyes, »

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