About the artist
Venerable Master Yuezhen is Abbot of Taoguang Temple, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P.R. China. He became a monk at Gufangguang Temple in Tiantai Mountain when he was in his late 20s, studying Tiantai Buddhist Theory, which has greatly influenced Zen Buddhism in Japan, and also learning Chinese landscape painting. Later he studied calligraphy at China Academy of Art.
In 1997, he was appointed Academic coordinator of the Tiantai Mountain Research Centre for Buddhist Studies and the Tiantai Mountain Academy of Buddhist Studies. In 2003, he went to Hangzhou to renovate Yongfu Temple and Taoguang Temple.
His artistic works have been exhibited many times at national Buddhist Calligraphy & Painting Exhibitions. In 2014, a solo exhibition of calligraphy & painting was held for him at the Japan Kyoto University of Buddhism. In 2017, the Heart of Zen & Destiny of Ink Calligraphy Exhibition was held in Osaka, Japan. In 2018, the Buddhist Robe with One Heart Calligraphy Exhibition was held in Seoul, Korea.
Master Yuezhen kindly hosted the visit of the King’s Men to China in 2018. The concert, given by the King’s Men and a group of Buddhist musicians, in the concert hall of Yong Fu Temple, was well received.
Comments from the artist and spectators
The opportunity for the calligraphy exhibition 'Silent Glimmer of the Zen Lanterns' originated in the invitation from Professor Alan Macfarlane, Fellow of King's College, and the Reverend Dr Stephen Cherry, Dean of King's College, Cambridge, to participate in the first symposium of Cambridge Inter-religious Exchange Programme ‘The Mysteries of Time - Finding Wisdom in Buddhism and Christianity’.
The reference to 'Buddhist Lamp' in the title of this exhibition represents the enlightenment and wisdom to be found in Buddhism. The transmission of light is the transmission and continuation of the mind between the Zen master and his disciples. Therefore, the Buddhist lamp also has the connotation of time, wisdom and history. The exhibition 'Silent Glimmer of the Zen Lanterns' selected expressions on the wisdom of time in Buddhism to demonstrate the time wisdom through the medium of the art of calligraphy, which is relevant to the purpose of the above-mentioned seminar.
By Venerable Master Yuezhen
Abbot of Taoguang Temple, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
The exhibits in this calligraphy exhibition are based on the famous Buddhist sutras, phrases and couplets on time and wisdom, and use calligraphy as a medium to express the Buddhist philosophy. Master Yue Zhen is one of the best calligraphers among his contemporaries. His calligraphy reveals a peaceful mind and a tranquil atmosphere. The brush strokes are gently and elegantly executed and the space between characters are beautifully balanced. Looking at his writing, one can almost inhale the fragrance of the ink and reading the words transports the reader to a peaceful zen temple where enlightenment is achieved.
By Dr James Lin,
Senior Assistant Keeper Fitzwilliam Museum,
University of Cambridge