1100s–1200s, Dali Kingdom (937–1253)
This elegant manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion who is known in China as Guanyin, is a fine example produced in the Dali Kingdom in today’s Yunnan Province. The lower body is covered with a rectangular piece of cloth tied below the waist, a style similar to Southeast Asian sculptures. The naked upper body is also similar to Southeast Asian styles. Located on the trading route between China and Southeast Asia, the Dali Kingdom remained independent for more than three centuries. Devoted to Buddhism, the kingdom developed a unique Buddhist iconography representing a combination of Chinese,Southeast Asian, and indigenous styles.