izō Bosatsu, late 12th to mid-13th century, Kamakura period, Japan, wood with lacquer, gold leaf, cutout gold foil decoration, and color, 181.6 x 72.4 x 57.4 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
This boyish bodhisattva reminds us that through humble bearing, we can spiritually blossom—like a lotus flower.

Jizō Bosatsu

Detail, Haniwa: Tomb Sculpture of a Seated Warrior, Japan, late Tumulus period, c. 500-600 C.E., coil-built eathenware with applied decoration, 31 x 14 3/8 x 15 inches / 78.7 x 36.5 x 38.1 cm (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
These expressive funerary objects evolved from simple clay cylinders into animal, human, and building forms.

Haniwa Warrior

Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), Todai-ji, Nara, Japan, 743, rebuilt. c. 1700 (photo: author, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
This massive temple was built to impress—twice. Its monumental timber frame required a veritable cypress forest.


Mariko Mori, Pure Land, 1996-98
In her immersive dreamscapes, Mori transforms the celestial attendants of Buddhist art into pastel-colored aliens.

Mariko Mori, Pure Land