Carnegie Hall NYC

March 1, 2023


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REVIEW: New Retrospective of Mayumi Oda’s Work Stuns at Tibet House


Recalling the vast bodhisattva assemblies that manifest when the Buddha teaches the dharma, Sarasvati’s Gift: The Art and Life of a Modern Buddhist Revolutionary, a new show at New York City’s Tibet House, draws forth the sacred feminine forces of heaven and Earth to bear testament to artist and activist Mayumi Oda’s transcendent vision. Devas, bodhisattvas, saints, mountain spirits, immortal sages, wrathful deities engulfed in flames, meditating skeletons, cherubim, nursing chubby babies, and a menagerie of animals and mythical creatures dominate the gallery space in monumental paintings from the artist’s career, flooding the eye with both the glorious and grotesque.

Oda’s bold, controlled line work against her loose, ecstatic use of color breathes life into her subjects and reveals the structure of nature within the transient chaos of existence. Tibet House Managing Director Beata Tikos says that being around the artist’s work on a daily basis is a reminder of our human condition: impermanence. This central Buddhist teaching is further elucidated in the inspirational story of Oda’s life, which she wrote about in an autobiography also titled Sarasvati’s Gift.

Read full review here