Mmmmm.. What’s that smell? Ah yes… a big steaming cup of fresh hell:
The detailed workmanship is astounding. Using varying finenesses of sand, Mr. Samten outlines bricks, miniscule arrows and the decorative trim of a woman’s dress and sculpts buildings, mountains and rivers. He blends colors, so a band of yellow fades to green to meet the dominant blue of the largest circle. Although the overall effect is two-dimensional, Mr. Samten periodically turns off the overhead lights and uses a side-light to highlight the sand’s relief, and suddenly ocean waves and fruit trees come to life with depth and shadows.
The overall concept and symbolism of the “Wheel of Life” remain the same each time it is created, but individual artists add their own variations and interpretations. In this case, Mr. Samten whimsically includes a tiny dog that runs from scene to scene, appearing in the midst of a tale of human relationships. In other panels, Jesus and Buddha appear next to each other, a nod to the ecumenical relationship that brought this Buddhist mandala to an Episcopal cathedral, and a church building takes its place alongside a pagoda as diverse cultures intersect in Mr. Samten’s vision.
UPDATE: Pageantmaster sends along this link to the live Mandala-Cam!