This impressive Shan style Burmese hollow lacquer Buddha statue is seated on a pedestal in bhumisparsa mudra also known as the earth touching gesture. Lord Buddha's face is calm. He stares in meditation with a sweet smile upon his lips. He has long, pendulous earlobes that touch his shoulders. A large wooden finial sits on top of a rounded usnisha.
The crafting of hollow lacquer Buddha statues using centuries old methods is a dying art in Burma due to the immense amount of time required to create them. The dry lacquer technique known as “man-hpaya” was popular in Burma up until the early 20th century when production went into decline. Although hollow lacquer statues are still being made today, they are no longer produced in large numbers.
Once the final layer of lacquer hardens, the cloth layer is cut open, the core is removed and the cloth shell is rejoined by applying another cloth layer alternating with layers of lacquer paste made from lacquer mixed with ash, rice husks, powdered bone, cow dung or sawdust in various combinations, the lacquer is applied until the desired thickness is achieved.
Molded decoration made from thayo lacquer paste is applied and the object is then given a final coat of lacquer which is usually mixed with vermilion or other pigments producing a red or a reddish undercoat which has to remain tacky in order for the gilding to stick. The finished product is surprisingly strong and hardy such as this one.
This one of a kind statue was hand carved by the very talented artists of the beautiful country of Myanmar (Burma). Every piece is truly unique!