Tuesday, August 09, 2005


What Would Buddha Do? I like to think he'd laugh with his belly like a bowlful of jelly to know that some beauty escaped the destruction of the Taliban. Undiscovered Buddhist murals have been found in a cave near the previous site of the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan.

In other Bamiyan developments, a Japanese artist proposes using lasers to project figures of light into the now empty alcoves. I not only applaud the idea, but the artist's approach to his work. Hiro Yamagata is quoted as saying, "I'm doing a fine art piece. That's my purpose - not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a political statement."

When appearance is subverted to the message, it's a recipe for work which is neither aesthetically valid nor meaningful. Hurrah for a modern artist for whom the art comes first.

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