Monday, August 15, 2016

Buddhist Art: A Fragile Inheritance

The preservation of deteriorating Buddhist art is examined in this well-shot documentary. Threatened by both natural and manmade dangers, vulnerable ancient paintings are crumbling into dust from wind, sand, flood, fire, earthquake, salt deposits, and the very act of restoration itself. The devotional art appearing in this documentary is created with 'a pure mind for the greater good', often examining the impermanence of life and its rebirth, and uses ancient illustrations as a guide. The depiction of the gods and saints must be accurate, and the requirements cannot be modified. Therefore, its preservation for future generations is imperative. Through conservation techniques such as salt removal, plaster replacement, reattaching crumbling frescoes with adhesives, and the limiting of tourists to remote religious sites, the race to salvage irreplaceable artwork is shown. Featuring beautifully shot vistas of mountainous terrain, colorful traditional garments, gorgeous temples, twirling prayer wheels, and an intricate dance which destroys evil spirits and generates spiritual benefits to onlookers, Buddhist Art: A Fragile Inheritance is an enlightening look at a serious problem threatening priceless cultural artifacts.

ICYMI, I said dumb stuff about the horror film They're Watching over at Cultured Vultures.

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