Meditating with Buddha an inspired Satish Gupta

At the recent India Art Fair, it was a centre piece installation that captured the visitor’s imagination.

The centre piece of the installation at my booth in the India Art Fair was the sculpture ‘Meditations on a Mandala’.It was inspired by the Empty Zen Circle. For several years I drew and redrew the empty Buddhist Zen circle with ink and brush. This was an attempt to fathom the form’s simplicity, capturing its intrinsic silence,force, spontaneity and vitality – all in one stroke. The cultivation of Zen aesthetics requires an idea to be complete in mind, just as the ink in the paint brush touches the paper. This allows for no hesitation on the part of the artist. In this work I pay homage to an experience of encountering such a Zen empty circle or Shunya, outside the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. At this moment I was mesmerised by the rising mist and clouds from the valley below as I stood at the top of the mountain where I found myself at the centre of such a circle. The ethereal light enveloped me… this is when I understood experientially rather than intellectually the meaning of emptiness and fullness, which I see as interchangeable just as stillness and movement. I have expressed this in this kinetic sculpture where hundreds of Buddhas move and also are still, the Buddha in the centre seen through the negative space in the circle let’s us focus our minds into meditation.

Buddhism, specially Zen Buddhism has always fascinated me. I don’t see it as a religion but as a way of life. Its message of peace and love for all sentient beings is so rare in this chaotic world, which is full of hatred and violence.

Directors of Sanchit Art (from left) Anu Joshan, Sunil Joshan and (right) Sanchit Joshan with (right-centre) Amitabh Kant, G20-Sherpa at a solo exhibition of Satish Gupta, India Art Fair 2023.

On one of my trips to Ladakh I saw many prayers flags with calligraphed prayers on them fluttering, I was told that the prayers are for everyone, you never pray for yourself alone.

Buddha suggests the middle way, to be one with the environment, one with the elements, makes so much sense in these times of global warming.

The most important message of Buddhism is compassion and doing away with our egos.

Being conscious that we as a species have no special rights over this planet and need to respect all life.

The greatest miracle is that we are Alive! How easily we forget this fact, only when we have a serious illness and recover from it that we are thankful just to be able to breathe.

I strive to live each moment of my life in joy and create my Artworks in this spirit.


Satish Gupta is India’s celebrated painter, sculptor, poet, writer, printmaker, skilled draftsman, muralist, designer, and calligrapher all in one. His works have a deep engagement with mysticism and Zen spirit.

Drawing inspiration from the roots of Indian civilisation and its rich cultural storehouse, he brings a spirit of positivity and hope to his works, and finds his inspiration from an inner peace and transquility that is a benchmark of his works.

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