This Independent Study is an art historical analysis of both paintings and sculptures to analyze the gender transformation of the bodhisattva Guanyin (AvalokiteÅ›vara) in Imperial China. By focusing on the feminine and androgynous forms and/or manifestations of Guanyin represented in art, I analyze and compare the various gendered-specific representational conventions that the artists use to portray the bodhisattva's gradual feminization and gender transformation process. The purpose of this Independent Study is to demonstrate that the gender transformation of Guanyin, the bodhisattva of compassion, was the result of Chinese cultural and religious beliefs about gender and sexuality. This Independent Study will prove the importance and impact that gender representational conventions had within the confines of Guanyin's gender transformation and religious worship in China.
Art and Art History
LaRoche, Hawwah, "Goddess of Mercy: the Gender Transformation of the Bodhisattva Guanyin" (2012). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 149.
History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Theory and Criticism
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2012 Hawwah LaRoche