Fifteen Thousand Buddhas – Statement of Purpose

Over the years I have been struck by the nature of Buddha figures, their calm, their serenity and their evident wisdom. I often photographed them. As I looked further, I saw that Buddhas were not alone. There were figures and symbols from many religions intended to cause reflection, to inspire these feelings of being present and to express deeper spiritual ideas. It seemed to me that seen together, the images would resonate with one another and that their juxtaposition might create new understanding.
Fifteen Thousand Buddhas is my project to photograph thousands of religious icons, capturing the feelings they generate.

The name refers to a famous thousand year old Korean painting which appears to be a single Buddha but which when closely approached reveals itself to be fifteen thousand infinitesimally small individual Buddhas all painted to create the larger image.

The images I am making are portraits, not just pictures. Each attempts to see the intention of the artist who created the icon as well as the qualities the icon represents.

The icons come from many religions. By project’s end, I hope to have something representative of every religion. When finished, Fifteen Thousand Buddhas will be a kaleidoscope of pictures; a wealth of images intended to generate thoughtful and contemplative feeling. It should be rich enough to invite repeated viewings and it should repay those viewings with a fresh view every time.

The best way to see this gallery is to click on the slideshow tab and turn up Stuart Balcomb's beautiful music - enjoy!
Anne-Mother's Day-2013Temple Israel of Hollywood - Fred in front of the arkTemple Israel of Hollywood - Rabbi John RosoveJohn Eder reflectingBuddha in the gardenDarcy - SundanceKwan Yin - Los Angeles - ChinatownShop window - ParisParisParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisSt Severin-ParisShop window - ParisParisstreets of Amsterdam