Buddha Light Paintings


The Buddha Light Paintings are abstract images and animation based on the ancient sacred geometry that underlies Buddhist art. This geometry dates back several thousand years and forms the basis for many types of art, including mandalas and thangka paintings. I began collecting thangka paintings twenty years ago during visits to Hong Kong and mainland China. The paintings depict various Buddhist deities and are not only beautiful works of art, but are also used as vehicles for meditation. During my research of this art form, I located several templates that depict the underlying geometry used by the artists. Different mathematical proportions exist for the various levels of deities, and I use this geometry as the basis for the light paintings. Through a series of experiments, I decided to use virtual light as the method to create the images. This relates to spiritual beliefs, as well aesthetic concerns. While Buddhist thangka paintings portray a particular set of religious beliefs and deities, I wanted to take a more abstract and universal approach. This makes the art accessible to an international audience.

By using narrowly aimed volumetric spotlights within the 3D software Autodesk Maya, the essential structure of the geometry and colors of the Buddhist approach are captured. From there, I develop my own interpretations by moving the camera around the matrix to create various visual compositions.