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Celebrating 100 years of Buddhism in Canada

The Buddhist Channel, May 3, 2005

Toronto, Canada -- A Exhibition and a film show on the Heritage of Buddhist Art of Sri Lanka entitled "Expressions of Buddhist Inspiration? will be held from May 20 to 31st 2005, at the University of Toronto?s prestigious Robarts Library.  This is presented as a part of the grand celebration of 100 years of Buddhism in Canada. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Professor Vivek Goel, Provost, and University of Toronto on May 20th, 2005.

Comprising over 300 enlarged photographs this exhibition provides a comprehensive perspective of Sri Lanka?s heritage of Buddhist art spanning over a period of 2200 years. It takes us on a visual pilgrimage of many Buddhist sites with exquisite paintings including World Heritage Sites, providing a view of the richness of the Buddhist tradition.

Buddhist paintings are some of the gentle and most sublime art of mankind. These are among the oldest surviving art of the historic period in the Indian subcontinent from 3rd century BCE when the Great Indian Emperor Ashoka was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism to Sri Lanka and all over Asia. Sri Lanka became the centre of the earlier Theravada Order of Buddhism from where the Buddhist tradition traveled to the countries of South-East Asia. The religion and the art associated with it had a transforming effect on the countries which it reached and, till today, the art heritage of Buddhism flourishes in the Asian continent.

This is one of several exhibitions presented by the Traveling Exhibition Service (www.kalaava.com) based on the vast and varied photographic collection of Dr. Daya Hewapathirane and his son Sesath. With their pioneering low-light photography of ancient paintings, they have succeeded in capturing the true and luminous colours of the enchanting paintings more clearly than ever done before. Their work has been acclaimed for the sensitive photography of Buddhist art which provides a deep insight i nto the gentle and compassionate message of the art.

The exhibition has been facilitated by Nalanda College of Buddhist Studies founded by Professor Suwanda Sugunasiri and is being organized by the Traveling Exhibition Service of Brampton, Ontario. A group of Youth volunteers including several from the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University will conduct the exhibition.

The exhibition will remain open to the public free of charge, from Friday May 20th, 12:00 noon to 8 pm, and thereafter daily, from 10 am until 7 pm.

In parallel with the Exhibition will be the screening of the Documentary Film titled ?Arts of the Ancient World: Heritage of Buddhist Paintings of Sri Lanka?, produced by the Traveling Exhibition Service, with the outstanding Art Direction of young Arjuna Samarakoon (22) of Trillion Design of Canada.

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Dr. Daya Hewapathirane is the Director General of Traveling Exhibition Service. He can be contacted at 905-460-9669 or visit www.kalaava.com


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