Lot 020

b. China, 1913 - d. Penang, 2002

BAMBOOS, undated

Inscribed in Chinese with seals (lower left),
Chinese seal (lower right)
Ink & colour on rice paper
57cm x 94cm

Private Collection, Pahang.

ESTIMATE  RM 8,000 - 12,000


Bamboo, one of the “Four Gentlemen” (bamboo, orchid, plum blossom and chrysanthemum), plays a significant role in traditional Chinese culture that it is even regarded as a behaviour model of the gentleman. As bamboo has some features such as uprightness, tenacity and hollow heart, people endow bamboo with integrity, elegance and plainness, though it is not physically strong. Ancient Chinese poets have written countless poems to praise bamboo, symbolically referring to gentlemen.

Dato’ Chuk Mor was an accomplished and learned calligrapher and painter of the Chinese brush genre. He enhanced his gift in calligraphy when he studied briefly under the legendary Lingnan master Gao Jian-fu (1879 - 1951) when based in Macau. He was regarded as a great reformer of Mahayana Buddhism in Malaysia, infusing it with greater substance, meaning and clarity with his creativity and cultured background. He was best known as the abbot of the Triple Wisdom sanctuary in Penang that he set up in 1965. He also founded the Malayan (now Malaysian) Buddhist Association (1959), which he served as president for 12 years. For his tremendous contributions in the world of Buddhism and Chinese art, he was conferred a ‘Dato-ship’ by the Penang State Government in 1998. He became a novice monk at the Huangtang Souchang Temple at the age of 12 and was initiated as a full-fledged monk four years later. He then came under the tutelage of the great Buddhist reformist, Reverend Tai Zu. He helped cleanse the religion of confusion with Taoist practices in his devotional work in Hong Kong, Macau, Hawaii and Thailand before settling in Penang in 1954.

Autobiographical Notes of Dharma Master Zhu Mo, Edited by Ven. Chi Chern, 1984.
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