Buddhist Iconography and Chan Symbolism in Su Shi’s Poem “Paintings of Wang Wei and Wu Daozi”


  • Jan VRHOVSKI Charles University, Prague




Su Shi, classical Chinese poetry, Song dynasty, Buddhism, Buddhist symbolism


This article analyzes the content of Su Shi’s (1037–101) poem “Paintings of Wang Wei and Wu Daozi”. One of the main goals of this discussion is to show that in the case of the above-mentioned poem the reader can obtain a more thorough understanding of it as a whole only if they are acquainted with its allusive and symbolical levels. This article further tries to shed some light on the background of these symbols and allusions, which in our case originate from the so-called Chinese “Buddhist tradition(s)” (Chan, Caodong, etc.) and basically pertain to the vocabulary or symbols by whose use the motives of the enlightenment and the enlightened sage were depicted in the above-named tradition.


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Author Biography

Jan VRHOVSKI, Charles University, Prague

PhD candidate at the Department for Asian and African studies, Philosophical Faculty, University of Ljubljana

PhD candidate at the Institute for East Asian Studies, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University, Prague

Researcher at CCK-ISC, Charles University, Prague


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How to Cite

VRHOVSKI, J. (2015). Buddhist Iconography and Chan Symbolism in Su Shi’s Poem “Paintings of Wang Wei and Wu Daozi”. Asian Studies, 3(2), 163–196. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2015.3.2.163-196

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