Illuminated Buddha

2017 in London
Chila Kumari Singh Burman

Giclee print 'Illuminated Buddha' of Buddha by Chila Kumari Burman, 2017, with hand embellishments. The frame embellished with gold paint.

made of giclee print, paper, washy tape, swarovski crystals, felt bindis, plastic beads, rhinestones, fabric shapes.

Buddha is shown performing the bhumisparsha mudra, a gesture of earth-witness first performed on his route to enlightenment when he called on mother earth as a witness against the temptations of the demon Mara. The gesture is symbolic of the pursuit of wisdom through reason.

One of 29 works produced by Burman as a commission to accompany the Science Museum’s ‘Illuminating India’ season in 2017-18. The display featured representations of all religions indigenous to India. The works respond to objects and narratives in the history of science in India particularly to the exhibition ‘5000 Years of Science and Innovation’, as well as to the wider religious and cultural history of the sub-continent. This was Burman's first significant engagement with the history of science and medicine, with the works ranging across print, collage, photography and mixed-media, including experiments with iPad technology.


Object Number:
giclee print, paper (fibre product), tape, swarovski crystals, felt, plastic (unidentified), rhinestone and textile
overall: 400 mm x 298 mm x 50 mm,
print, hand embellished
Commissioned by the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, 2017