Recently, a Buddhist statue known by the name "wordless Bodhisattva" has emerged as an online sensation. Wearing a faint smile that can be turned into potentially any facial expression with the help of photo editing tools, the statue quickly captured the imagination of Chinese netizens, who have used it as a template to churn out hundreds of funny memes.
The statue belongs to a collection of 18 porcelain figures housed in the China Ceramics Museum in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. Created in the 1930s and 1940s by Zeng Longsheng, a celebrated potter in Jingdezhen, a world-famous porcelain capital, the set depicts the 18 Arhats, the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. During the country's recently concluded Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Golden Week (September 29-October 6), these statues became one of the hottest tourist attractions nationwide, thanks to the popularity of the "wordless Bodhisattva" figure.
While the statue's sudden rise to fame is quite unexpected, many Chinese museums are stepping up engagement with online trends and next-level technologies to allow visitors a more immersive and interactive experience. Hopefully, these museums will come up with more creative ways of integrating traditional art into the current digital age.
(Rednet.cn, October 7)