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The Taiwan Buddhist art exhibit
Xie Ya Qing

Gold-plated bronze Buddha statue, China, Ming Dynasty (16th – 17th century). There is a small Buddha on the forehead of the Buddha statue. Photo Xie Yaqing/The Epoch Times

TAIPEI – Books and sculptures of the Buddha have existed as long as the human race has lived. Buddhism originated in India and later spread to China. With the development of Chinese culture and foreign contact with it, Buddhism and Buddhist art gradually spread to other countries. Mr. Peng Kaidong, a popular collector of gold and bronze Buddha sculptures, donated his collection of 320 sculptures and ancient art to the Taiwan National Palace Museum on March 13. The museum has built a special hall named for him, the Kaidong Hall, to honor his half-century of contributions. Seventy items from his collection will be displayed in a grand exhibition to be held in autumn of this year.

The president of Taiwan National Palace Museum, Mr. Du Zenshen, stated that the museum’s collection of gold and bronze Buddha sculptures was rather limited before Mr. Peng Kaidong's contribution. Now, with these new pieces, its preservation of ancient Chinese art will be more complete as it includes many highly sought after pieces from all over Asia. Vice President of the Art Museum, Mr. Lin Buo Ting, recalls how overjoyed the museum staff was when Mr. Peng Kaidong visited the museum last year and expressed his intention of donating his life’s collection of gold and bronze Buddha sculptures. Mr. Lin Buoting explained that members of the museum's staff have been divided into two groups; one group is in charge of preparing the hall while another is coordinating the delivery of the collection. When the last group of sculptures was carried from his residence, ninety-two year old Mr. Peng stood in the rain to bid god and goddess images farewell. He wished them all a safe journey to the Taiwan museum where they will be honored in what he feels is a more suitable environment.

Gaining Respect for Buddha at a Tender Age

Peng was born in Taiwan Sinzu. Ever since he was young, he observed his mom (who had bound feet), being very sincere and respectful to the Buddha. This sowed the seeds of for his respect for the Buddha. On his fifteenth birthday, he purchased his first gold and bronze sculpture. He bought it because it resembled the one to which his mother prayed. Thus began his lifelong journey of collecting Buddha sculptures.

After living for close to a century, Mr. Peng Kaidong is still as fit as a fiddle. He believes his success and good health are due to god’s protection and the fact that he did not do bad deeds in life, rather, only good ones to help others.

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