Scene of Xishuang Banna Life is a Chinese ink-and-wash painting. However, it has a three-dimensional feeling suggestive of oil paintings. The artist is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Upon gazing at it, I feel a strong sense of comfort and tranquility. The main color of the painting is light brown, the different depth of the color vividly shows the fresh, clear water and misty air circling between the trees. A few girls are making waves, chatting, and enjoying themselves as they wash clothes by the riverside. The big banyan trees are so elegant and beautiful. Cobblestones are naturally scattered around those banyan trees. The setting resembles the sweet childhood memories buried in my heart.
About fifty years ago, my family lived in a small village in the mountain. There were no cars, TVs, toys, phones, or any other modern luxuries. We lived a very simple and modest life. All the mothers wash vegetables and rice in the clean creek and cook meals. Very often, they washed clothes in the river for the whole family, all the kids just played in the water, on the trees, or river banks. School was far away, we can only go there when we were old enough. But we have the biggest classroom, we studied everything we could find: trees, flowers, insects, stones etc. Twigs are pens, tree trunk are tables. The chirping of the birds, the rushing of the stream are music. We were in PE class all day long. We went to bed when the Sun set. What a simple happy life!
Sometimes we messed up our chores, our parents yelled at us and even beat us, but we forgot all the pain right away. We did fight with friends about a colorful rock, a giant leaf, a fresh berry… but we forgave each other unconditionally. We were best friends again right after the fights.
In front of the painting, I seem to have traveled back decades. I ponder when and where I lost the ability to forgive and forget so easily as I grew up. Where is that naive and simple child’s heart? I have much much more material staff then I was a child, but I am not as happy. I have stored more hatreds, worries, and complaints in my mind. Why I can’t forget about all the unhappy things, why I can’t forgive those unintentional hurt between friends and families?
This “Banna Style” is like opening a window of time and space, making me feel the joy of living as a naive and happy child again. The painting generates a leisurely fragrance, eases the pain caused by worries, gently wipes away the sadness, and embraces me with its extraordinary beauty…
It helped me to rediscover my inner purity again, and regain the ability to forgive and forget. I find the light to be happy and healthy again. I feel so grateful for the artist who have created a pure land for my heart, allowing me to see wonderful scenery, emerge in warm feelings, and be moved by tranquility peace.
This painting is in permanent collection of The International Art Museum of America.