Yukio Lippit: "The Harvard Buddha Hand"
Several years ago the colossal hand of an Amitabha Buddha statue, for many years kept in the storage room of the Harvard Art Museum, was discovered to belong to an important icon by the Japanese sculptor Kaikei, datable to circa 1200 and associated with the famous monk Chogen. This lecture introduces the hand, recounts the story of its rediscovery, and explores the significance of the remarkable statue and architectural structure to which it once belonged.
Yukio Lippit, Harvard University
Yukio Lippit is a professor at Harvard's Department of the History of Art and Architecture. His research focuses primarily on premodern Japanese painting, with a special emphasis on Sino-Japanese painting associated with Zen Buddhism and the various lineages that emerged from it during the medieval and early modern periods. He has a forthcoming book on Painting of the Realm: The Kanō House of Painters in Seventeenth Century Japan. Professor Lippit is working on a new book project titled Illusory Abode: Modes and Manners of Ink Painting in Medieval Japan, examining how ink painting as a medium enabled certain discourses about representation that emerged in Zen Buddhist communities from the thirteenth through sixteenth century.