Sun and Moon at Dazu

Our Trip to Dazu, Sichuan Province, China

2. Sun and Moon at Dazu

A few of these large panels tend to be more formal, peopled with religious figures and worshippers. The walls of the Cave of Full Enlightenment, at niche no. 29, have been lined with traditional Buddhist figures, some fierce, some benign. The deep influences of Indian art rise to the surface, reflections of the venerable achievements at the Longmen or Mongao sculpture troves. But the new style of the Song masters distinguishes Dazu. In the Song Dynasty, religious sculpture becomes increasingly natural and worldly, more Confucian and more Chinese. We spent the night at the Dazu Guesthouse. Because the Dazu area had been closed to foreigners in 1984 we came with the Chongqing Party Secretary. This allowed us to go into this closed area. It has now been opened to foreigners. Often areas that are closed to foreigners are so because there are insufficient facilities for hosting foreigners.

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