Buddhist Dynamics Culture and Arts Foundation (HKBD) hosted the third Buddha Sunning Festival in Victoria Park on 13 November, unveiling two tailor-made appliqué thangkas for the spiritual benefit of people in Hong Kong. The festival’s highlights were a 38-meter Medicine Buddha thangka and a 15-meter Amitabha Buddha counterpart, specially created to offer blessings to Hong Kong. An audience of almost 10,000 people came to Victoria Park to receive the blessings and to appreciate the thangkas. The healing energy of the Medicine Buddha is beyond words, and the thangka is absolutely stunning.
HKBD is a charity founded by Ngawang Kunga Tenzin Gyatso Rinpoche of the Jonang school of Tibetan Buddhism, who first launched the Buddha Sunning Festival in 2012. Following the Tibetan tradition of Buddha Sunning, it offers Hong Kongers a contemporary way to connect themselves with the Buddha through bringing mega-sized thangka paintings to different places in Hong Kong. Always mindful of Hong Kong society’s spiritual needs, Rinpoche has commissioned a new piece for each of the past three years: a 6-meter Shakyamuni Buddha in 2012, the 15-meter Amitabha Buddha in 2013, and the 38-meter Medicine Buddha in 2014. With the Ebola virus currently afflicting many people and places, the large Medicine Buddha image is particularly important both for Hong Kong and the rest of the world.
The mega-sized thangkas featured at the festival are produced under the supervision of Gendun Dargay, recipient of the National Master Artist Award and a major exponent of Rebkong art as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage.
One of the special programs of the festival was a Buddhist dance theater called The Buddha's Path (佛道 fo dao). An original production created by a full team of local talent and dancers, it was staged at the Hong Kong Arts Center’s Shouson Theatre from 7–8 November. The production is a modern story of five Cantonese women and their journey to discover their relationship with the Buddha. Seeking to integrate the arts and Buddhism organically, the production aims to apply Buddhist insights into stage aesthetics, hoping to inspire audiences to live life to its fullest, dynamically and wisely.