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Free Buddhist Art Exhibitions and Lectures - Tung Lin Kok Yuen Conference


“The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Chinese Characters Conference: Visualizing and Performing Buddhist Worlds” will take place from November 2 to 3, bringing renowned Buddhist scholars and artists to Toronto for this pioneering event and conference. In connection with the conference, several special events are free and open to the public and are being held at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus and the Royal Ontario Museum.


4:30 p.m. – Artist’s talk and showing: Contemporary artist Will Kwan, recent Snider Fellowship Artist in Residence at U of T Scarborough, unveils and discusses his specially-commissioned work, The Reservoir. It is an installation of videos and photography described as a search for potential moments of transcendence amidst modern Buddhist art on Lantau Island, off the coast of urban Hong Kong. Room AA-304.

5:30 p.m. – Art exhibition opening: Reincarnation, an exhibition of contemporary artworks exploring Buddhist themes, opens at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough (located on the upper floor of the Academic Resource Centre across from the bookstore). The Buddha image is no longer solely a symbol of one belief system, but rather a visual form that fosters questions rather than answers. This exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures, video installations and photography by artists from China, the United States, Tibet, and Korea. The exhibit demonstrates how Buddhist imagery has been adopted in contemporary art practice and how close it is to our daily life in the context of globalization. Visit the web site for the Doris McCarthy Gallery at

7:00 p.m. - Curator’s talk: Given by internationally renowned curator Zheng Shengtian, Managing Editor of Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Curator of the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough. The curator discusses the works he brought together for the Reincarnation exhibit as part of a walking tour of the gallery.

8:00 p.m. – Opening lecture: Professor of Asian Art Eugene Wang (Harvard) discusses “Buddhist Art as Mental Theatre: How was Repentance Pictured in Medieval China?” This lecture will examine mural paintings from Dunhuang and explore what it means for a repentance ritual to be painted rather than enacted. University of Toronto Scarborough, Academic Resource Centre (ARC) lecture theatre. Room AC223.

For more details about the conference and public events or for biographies on the speakers, visit:

© University of Toronto Scarborough