Art and Ecclesiastics

So I’ve been reading a book about ancient Hindu-Buddhist sculpture in Indonesia.


I was reading it before bed last night, and came upon this line I liked a great deal.  In this particular passage, the author Jan Fontein was discussing the synthesis and appropriation of Indian thought and creative styles in Indonesia.  Specifically, the passage was looking at the life of the Buddha, the different teachers he sought out, and then how this story is depicted in the reliefs of Borobudur:

An artist who combines and harmonizes a multitude of diverse stylistic elements acts in a manner that is quite similar to that of the ecclesiastics whose efforts to concentrated on resolving varying, at times even contradictory, points of view taken by their different gurus.


I think this resonated with me for a couple of reasons.  First because of my different interests in photography and classical Indonesian art and philosophy, and my attempts to reconcile these into my own creative voice and vision.  And second because I’ve always thought there is a clear connection between art and religion.  Art is really a fundamental statement of belief.



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