Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery (FGY) was established in January 1994, and played a role in organizing charity sales to raise billions of dollars for the construction of Fo Guang University (FGU) in Ilan Chaohsi. Since its cause and condition (yuan) came from FGU, it is named Fo Guang Yuan (condition of the Buddha's Light), which is a wonderful combination of Buddhism, art, literature and academic studies.
The establishment of Fo Guang Yuan Art Galleries within Fo Guang Shan branch temples follows Venerable Grand Master Hsing Yun's wish to display the conditions which have been brought forth by Fo Guang University. To propagate Buddhism through culture is one of the four major objectives of Fo Guang Shan, and the purpose of establishing its branch temples is to integrate them with the arts of Buddhism.
In 2002, Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery headquarters, which is situated in Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung, was established. Over time, FGY Art Galleries have grown in number and expanded globally, with branch art galleries in Taiwan, including Taipei, Ilan, Ping Dong, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chang Hua branches¡¯, and overseas branch art galleries include Australia, America, Malaysia, New Zealand North and South Island etc. There are currently 18 Fo Guang Art Galleries around the world.
Since its inception, FGY Art Galleries around the globe have collectively exhibited many artworks. The current aim of FGY Art Gallery is to continue activities that promote education. Buddha¡¯s Memorial of Kaohsiung, Taiwan has already been established, and in future, other Fo Guang Shan Temples worldwide will open a FGY Art Gallery.
Venerable Grand Master Hsing Yun named New Zealand North and South Island FGY Art Galleries ¡°FGY Art Gallery 1¡± and ¡°FGY Art Gallery 2¡± respectively. FGY Art Gallery 2 opened its doors to the public in January 2007, and until the present day, Gallery 2 has already exhibited ¡°Enlightenment with Compassion¡±, ¡°Stone Carvings of Avalokitesvara¡± and ¡°Purple Sand 18 Lohans¡±.
From September to December 2008, FGY Art Gallery 2 exhibited ¡°Fo Guang Shan Ink Rubbings Made from the Hundred Masters Wall Plaque Exhibition Tour¡±, ¡°Draw with the Heart¡±, ¡°Yao Hong Ying Embroidery Art¡±, ¡°Hospitality for the Heart¡±, ¡°The More Good the Better¡± etc.
Hopefully, the FGY Art Gallery can cater for the needs of people of the current generation, and that art can be fused into our daily lives, using a relaxed approach to exhibiting, so that visitors conjure up great interest in art. Also, ideally, exhibiting artwork will collaborate with education, so that the many people who look at and appreciate the artwork may leave with knowledge that can lift them up a level in spirit and mind.