March 7th, 2019
Buddha Collage Project
For my bridge two project I decided to focus on the Buddhas that I saw at the Rubin Museum. I was intrigued by the amount of history and culture there was behind it so I decided that I was going to focus In on the original buddha himself, Siddhartha Gautama.His story was so interesting and special. Siddhartha Gautama grew up in a royal family in Lumbini near both the border of Nepal and India. He grew up with a father who was a king in a large clan called the Shakyas. Knowing all his father did about the outside world he decided to keep his young son sheltered from the outside world and away from the suffering taking place in the world. He was raised in a palace that his father built for him, though this happened he had an arranged marriage taking place once he turned sixteen, so he only had thirteen years of seclusion. When the buddha reached his late twenties, he decided that he was going to venture outside the palace walls. After traveling outside the walls, Gautama was in awe over the disparity in the outside world so the very next day he decided to leave his wife and son behind and venture to the outside world so he could try and discover a way to help the universal suffering. Over the upcoming six years he practiced and study mediation. He followed a group of meditation teachers around and his teachers were extremely surprised by how faithful of a follower he became so quickly. When the buddha wasn’t finding answer to his questions he then decided to redouble his efforts, suffer through more pain, fasted for longer periods of time and even at times refused water. After Gautama realized that his extreme way of living wasn’t benefiting him, he decided to sit under a Bodhi tree and vowed to not get up until the truth came to him, so he decided to mediate in hopes of finding his much-needed answers. After being under the tree for days he was able to purify his mind to be able to see his entire life, previous lives, and his thoughts. During this time, he was able to defeat evil demons who challenged his right to become a buddha. After vanishing the demons, he was able to achieve full enlightenment. But once he was able to reach that state, he was hesitant in teachings his way to others since he was aware how long it took him to reach full enlightenment. The buddha was also not completely sure that he would be able to communicate to others what’s necessary to speak the truth about his enlightenment. He ended up coming up with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path- these concepts would soon become the pillars for the Buddhism. After realizing how special these concepts are, he created the foundation of the sangha. For the next eighty years of his life the Buddha himself traveled around the world and preached the dharma, over the years he hoped that this would lead for people to follow his enlightenment.
After researching the original buddha and read about many of his stories I decided that I wanted to narrate his special life story through collaging photos that represent his life story in the 6thcentury. I used photoshop to collage the three different collages. I wanted to make sure there was a flow between the three collages so you would be able to read a story through the three different collages. I added a picture of a lady mediating on a rock with a sunset behind her throughout the three different collages in a row in the middle to represent his passion for Buddhism throughout his three stages of life. That’s when the idea came to me to start ‘cutting’ the photos out in photoshop and placing when across. The flow of the collage then started to become more clear. At the end of creating my collage I decided to add simple words to the top and bottom of the outside of the collage to create more of a narrative to the collage so you would know which way to read the collage (left to right).