The Awakening

Personal work

The Awakening


These images are my explorations for my visual thesis. My thesis investigates Buddhist philosophy and modern theories of quantum physics to create a new Buddhist mandala style that can deliver its core message more effectively. Buddhist philosophy can be considered to be compatible with modern science and anticipated key discoveries of physics. However, Buddhist mandalas such as Tibetan mandalas usually contain religious metaphor and thus it is difficult for a general audience to grasp core Buddhist philosophy, which can be considered scientific and reasonable. This thesis researches how Buddhist mandalas can be created with current motion design techniques without the superstitious and devotional aspects of Buddhism and can deliver its core message in more direct and compelling ways.


The Buddha's appearance in the visual thesis is based on reality. His appearance has been diversely interpreted due to the absence of his image in early Buddhist art. Through a realistic representation of the Buddha's appearance, my visual thesis intends to break down standardized forms which many people have in their mind for the Buddha's appearance. 


The contents of the Buddha's meditation are expressed as a world of physics that cannot be perceived with the naked human eye. The notions of emptiness, interconnectedness, and impermanence that he realized are visualized through an interconnected particle web. 


Statues of the Buddha meditating on suffering: Birth, Aging, Illness, and Death.


Where the Buddha became awakened.