In the Forest of Amida Buddha

Junko Chodos
Art and Ideas

Junko's Writings
Selected Works
About Junko
In 1995, Junko gave her first one-person show in a Museum., the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. She exhibited her series of works on mylar, "In the Forest of Amida Buddha". Here is what she wrote at the time about this series:

In the Forest of Amida Buddha, No. 20

Acrylic and Sumi Ink on Mylar

    Amida Buddha is the deity who governs the "Pureland" hundreds of millions of miles beyond the place where the sun sets.
    All Buddhists dreamof being reborn on one of the petals of the lotus which grows in the pond in Pureland. And the scene of this Pureland has always been one of the most popular themes throughout Japanese Buddhist Art history. But as time went by, people came to believe that the cosmic law was in decline. In fear and desparation, people started to portray Amida speeding down to earth on a jet of clouds to pick up the dying souls, instead of sitting on a lotus waiting for them to find him.

    In the summer of 1993, I saw the Amida Buddha in my backyard. It was a time that a serious illness struck someone I love and the shadow of death fell upon our life. Amida showed his figure behind the trees, moving like a mysterious wind through the branches in the forest which spread from our house to the mountains of Topanga. I drew this forest in the first twenty-four works of this series.

    A few months later, the Malibu fires of November 1993 reached to our back yard and lapped at the edge of our house for four days. Amida's forest became part of the area declared to be a national disaster; it disappeared from this earthly plane and left only a burnt hillside as its trace. At the same time my loved one recovered from his illness and the shadow of death which had fallen over our life passed on. Later on I added one more work to this series, and it became a series of 25 works.