Guanyin of the Southern Sea. Liao (907-1125) or Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)
I have visited this ancient Chinese temple on display at the Nelson-Atkins museum many times over the years, and it’s always fascinated me. The craftsmanship to create it in the first place, it’s survival of time and war, and it’s seemingly immaculate condition as it is viewed by millions of visitors from all over the world in a city on the other side of the world from where it was originally built thousands of years ago.
During yesterday’s visit, I decided to try to get a photograph of the intricate carvings on the ceiling where the bodhisattva sits. As you can see from the above photo from outside the temple, there’s not much light. I set a 2-second timer on my camer, laid it on the floor, pressed the shutter halfway down for auto-focus, and took a photo. What appeared on my display shocked me.