October – Buddhism Festival at the Tropenmuseum with guided tours & lectures

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The Buddhism Festival Weekend in Tropenmuseum Amsterdam!

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In the weekend of Oct 15 & 16, the Tropenmuseum held their wonderful Buddhism Weekend, with lots of different events that were all related to Buddhism and the different schools in Buddhism.

tropenmuseum-amsterdam-guide-carmen-mensink-buddha-exhibitI was asked to offer lectures on Buddhist Art as well as Thangka workshops and leading guided tours through the exhibition The Buddha (in Dutch: De Boeddha as you can on the picture at the bottom of this page) at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Guided tours through the Buddha exhibition

This exhibition about Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha of our time, and by visiting it you will make a journey through the life of the Buddha, learn about his philosophy and how it spreaded out to other Asian countries.

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On the left I point out some elements on an old Japanese scroll. The exhibit is divided in parts that show the different Buddhist countries and their artwork.

The right picture shows a Tibetan thangka depicting the Buddha’s birth, with his mother Maya who holds on tight to a tree when giving birth. Before the Buddha became an enlightened being he was a human just as you and I, he was born as a prince called Siddharta Gautama. And this young boy was a special one, as after birth he immediately started walking and everywhere he put down his feet, lotus blossoms appeared.
The name ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’ and people started calling Siddharta this after he reached the highest state of consciousness.

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In the Buddha hall at the end of the exhibit, Buddha statues from all the different buddhist countries are brought together. Here I explain about the differences in iconography and style and how you can recognize Buddha statues from certain countries.

tropenmuseum-amsterdam-lecture-carmen-mensink-2016-1Lectures on Tibetan Buddhist Art 

During the weekend I also offered several lectures on buddhist art, such as the 8 Lucky Symbols in Tibet.

In the pictures below you can see some of the paintings of the eight symbols of fortune that I have painted to welcome the Dalai Lama, and I’m explaining the symbolism behind each of the eight auspicious symbols.
The first picture shows the thangka painting for the Dalai Lama that was made in 2009 and the second shows the 9 meter long auspicious symbols painting that was created in 2014.

The set of eight symbols consist of the: Parasol, the Pair of Fishes, the Vase, Lotus Flower, the Conch Shell, the Eternal Knot, the Victory Banner and the Dharma Wheel.

Workshops drawing the 8 Auspicious Symbols

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During the weekend I also offered a workshop on the 8 Auspicious Symbols to a group of 30 visitors of the museum.

The wonderful exhibition ‘The Buddha’ can still be visited till Jan 29, 2017!