Butter sculptures

                      —— Devout oil carving art

   We are most moved by the making process of butter sculpture because every butter sculpture embodies monk artist’s piety to Buddhism.
  There is a beautiful legend about the origin of butter sculpture. In 1409 when Tsongkhapa first held prayer meeting in Jokhang Temple, he had a strange dream about brambles turning into bright lamp while weeds turning into flowers. In order to reproduce the wonderful dream after waking, he immediately organized monk artists to shape some flowers and trees with butter, and then put them, together with treasures and butter lamps, in front of Buddha. The main ingredient of butter sculpture is a kind of yellowish-white oil which is obtained from yak’s milk or ewe’s milk by repeated stirring (on catty out of 20 catties of milk). The butter is smooth and delicate with great plasticity. The butter seems to have vitality in the nimble hands of monk artist who make butter sculpture into various shapes only with fingers nails, little sticks or other simple tools. During making process, monk artists have to put their hands into ice water until numb to get the job done, and such piety does grant spirit to butter sculptures. To prevent butter embryo from being melted and deformed by hand temperature, monk artists work in the workshop in which the temperature is controlled in 0 degree. Moreover, they have to prepare a basin of water with ice beside them, in which they should soak their hands again and again in order to control hand temperature. It is really a painstaking process, and most of monk artists always get chilblains on their hands. Their piety to Buddhism and pursuit of supreme art are totally beyond physical sufferings. Beautiful butter sculptures are created one after another by those cold hands. (Lower the temperature of arms, palms, fingers and even the whole body again and again until in accordance with the ice: zero degree. Only in this way, can their hands intimately touch the butter and make it into lifelike flowers.)

  This vivid, true to life likeness suyouhua most incisive performance the essence of Buddhist art! Butter sculpture both fragrant and beautiful bud early. We can almost smell the fresh and elegant fragrance, move one deeply. Personality is distinct, vivid images, we seem to hear them whisper to one another, from their amorous eyes as if they can read the passions, grief at separation and joy in union. The magnificent have an imposing appearance, the pavilions, terraces and open halls, we as if with the Buddhist pure land only move away, Su Youhua wonderful let all languages lost describe its qualification, this is the Buddhist art, art of buddhism!