The Artful Transformation of Human Suffering: Banksy and Buddhist Art | Buddhistdoor

By Guoying Stacy Zhang
Rage, the Flower Thrower by Banksy, Jerusalem. From
In the midst of widespread protests in Hong Kong in October 2019, the city was imbued with feelings of anxiety, fear, and anger. Fire, violence, and destruction were constantly shown on media platforms to a degree that even the most fainthearted would feel numb to the spectacle. Nevertheless, a couple of friends and I managed to cross the border between Hong Kong and mainland China and find ourselves in a nice bar in the city of Shenzhen. It was a breath of fresh air, away from the tear gas and rage. My friends and I soon noticed that this place had a special liking for the British street artist and political activist Banksy. This is where I find an analogy between Banksy’s work and Buddhist art. Both recognize human suffering yet they artistically transform the suffering to inspire. Behind the grandeur, composure, and gold of Buddhist art, there is heartbreak, loss, and grief. [More]