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A Study on the Image Spectrum of Murals in the Kizil Grottoes
Yin Xiaobin
This paper discusses the image spectrum of murals in the Kizil grottoes. The so- called “flower image spectrum” refers to a large series of images which are composed of different forms of flowers and flower trees and recur repeatedly. They are named as “Tian Yu Hua”, and are based on ancient Buddhist books and records such as “Tian Yu Zhong Hua”.
Based on the research achievements of predecessors, this paper mainly addresses the representative images of “Tian Yu Hua” in murals from the Kizil grottoes, which are typical and have multiple cultural connotations and aesthetic meanings. This paper analyzes the “Tian Yu Hua”, according to category, composition, and form, as well as distribution and application in murals. The functions of cultural symbols and aesthetic decoration of “Tian Yu Hua” in murals from the Kizil grottoes are also examined and explored from perspectives of religion, culture, national awareness, visual aesthetics, and etc. In the meantime, this paper also demonstrates the special value of “Tian Yu Hua ”, and maps local cultural characteristics through comparisons with flower image applications in grotto art influenced by other cultures (Indian Culture, Gandhara Culture, and Central Plain Culture).
Keywords: murals in Kizil grottoes, “Tian Yu Hua”, Image?Spectrum