Design a Calligraphic Plate
Design a calligraphic plate using Arabic script and images inspired by a meaningful word.
Objective: Students will: 1.) Identify the format and elements of a sutra. 2.) Examine why sutras (the teachings of the Buddha) are important historical and religious documents. 3.) Analyze why the writing of sutras is considered an important religious act. 4.) Construct and illustrate an accordion book manuscript based on the sutra format used during the Goryeo dynasty (Korea).
Common Core Standards:
W 6-8.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
Content Standards (California):
History/Social Science: 7.3.1: Describe the reunification of China under the Tang Dynasty and reasons for the spread of Buddhism in Tang China, Korea, and Japan.
Visual/Performing Arts: 6.3.3: Compare, in oral or written form, representative images or designs from at least two selected cultures; 6.5.3: Create artwork containing visual metaphors that express the traditions and myths of selected cultures; 7.3.2 Compare and contrast works of art from various periods, styles, and cultures and explain how those works reflect the society in which they were made; 9-12.3.1: Identify similarities and differences in the purposes of art created in selected cultures.
Buddhist Motifs and Designs and Visual Instructions (see “Downloads” above); indigo blue paper, poster board, gel pens, fine point liquid gold and silver markers, scissors, glue, and ruler.
The religious fervor and opulence of the Goryeo dynasty can be seen in the intricately hand-copied sutras (the teachings of the Buddha) that date to this period. Korean monk-scribes were commissioned by royals, aristocrats, and individual high-ranking monks to write the sacred words of the Buddha by applying pigments of ground gold and silver to deep indigo–dyed mulberry paper. They began by pictorially narrating the sermons of the Buddha with key episodes within the sutra chapter on the frontispiece (first four sutra panels). The rest of the sutra comprised flowing calligraphy translating the Buddha’s teachings.