|A start-up ceremony for the "1,000 people photograph Longmen Grottoes" competition is held at the Longmen Grottoes Scenic Spot in central China's Henan Province on June 24, 2012. (chinapic.people.com.cn)|
Edited and translated by Ye Xin, People's Daily Online
A competition themed "1,000 people photograph Longmen Grottoes" kicked off on June 24, 2012. The activity, held by the Longmen Grottoes Scenic Spot, aims to enhance the reputation and promote brand favorite as well as to display the unique charm of the stone sculptures and the Buddhism Culture in Longmen Grottoes.
The Longmen Grottoes is located 12 kilometers south of Luoyang, a city of central China's Henan Province.
There are as many as 100,000 statues within the 1,400 caves. The area also contains nearly 2,500 stelae and inscriptions, hence the name "Forest of Ancient Stelae", as well as over sixty Buddhist pagodas. The grottoes are concentrated on the east and west cliffs of the Yishui River, and stretch for 1 kilometer.
The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of the plastic arts of China in the late period of the Northern Wei Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty.
The grottoes provide information on religion, painting, calligraphy, music, costumes, medicine, construction and foreign relations during this period.
The stone sculptures in the Longmen Grottoes are unique in their blending of religious grandeur and secular touches. Based on the essential concepts and doctrines of Buddhism imported from India, the rock sculptures in the Longmeng Grottoes already begin to assume distinctive Chinese characteristics. The style of the sculpture, the design of the clothing and the facial expressions of the statues, as well as the carving methods all exhibit the pinnacle of development of Chinese grotto art. For example, the 11 Buddha statues in the Binyang Cave, typical Northern Wei carvings, represent a style in transition from the simple and compact depictions in the Yungang Grottoes of Datong, Shanxi province, to the vigorous and realistic Tang Dynasty sculptures.
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