This project explores the visual, material, and architectural cultures of the Avatamsaka school of Buddhism. As one of Asia’s most influential systems of ideas, Avatamsaka Buddhism is renowned for its unique cosmological imagination, which served as the design prototype for numerous cultural heritage sites and Buddhist artworks. Indra’s net is the central metaphor that artfully illustrates the Avatamsaka cosmology. It describes a net of jewels, where the polished surface of each jewel reflects all other jewels.
Through the process of infinite reflections, the net turns into an interminable, fractal-like structure of optical illusions—a structure that brilliantly demonstrates the concepts of illusion, dependent origination, and interpenetration of the Avatamsaka universe.
In the history of Buddhist art, this fascinating vision of the universe has been ingeniously embodied within myriad forms of art and architecture. The Indra’s Net digital exhibition project explores case studies, ranging from pagoda towers to underground palaces, that epitomize the Avatamsaka cosmology. Integrating digital technologies—including projection mapping, hologram, CG animation, and digital scan of Buddhist art and architecture—this project stages an immersive exhibition that reveals to the modern audience the imaginary cosmology behind the Buddhist legacies.