Its earth was composed throughout of limitless adornments. A myriad jewelled trees—three hundred rows deep—together with a ring of mountains, entirely encircled it. Jewelled clouds hovered over it. It was pure, without defilement, and illuminated by light.
Following the opening of Tsz Shan Monastery in 2015, there had been a rising sentiment in Mr. Li Ka-shing that Buddhist art can soothe the mind and nourish the soul with its visual aesthetics. With this conviction in mind, he set out to develop the Tsz Shan Monastery Buddhist Art Museum located underneath the Guan Yin Statue. After years of planning and preparation, the Museum officially opened to the public in 2019.
The Museum houses precious Buddhist artefacts and objects from across the globe. Through unique exhibitions and cultural activities, we seek to interweave Buddhist art and culture, and present our visitors with a platform for art appreciation and spiritual nourishment. The Museum is set within a circular enclosure – denoting the freeing of the minds and accomplishing inner contentment – a state that we wish to have our visitors experience during their circumambulations. The Tsz Shan Monastery Buddhist Art Museum is also the first and only museum in Hong Kong dedicated to Buddhist art and relics as its primary exhibits, curatorial themes and research fields.
Situated beneath the Guan Yin Statue, the Museum aspires to promulgate Buddhist teachings, guiding our visitors in their journeys of appreciation of Buddhist art, thereby welcoming them to lead a purified, purposeful life.
The idea for the development of Tsz Shan Monastery germinated with Mr. Li Ka-shing. From a young age, Mr. Li was influenced by his elders, and had developed a life-long affinity with Buddhism. In 1980, Mr. Li established a personal foundation to cultivate a culture of giving, and has since pledged to donate one-third of his personal assets to advance medical research and education, and alleviate poverty. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son”. The hardships Mr. Li endured in his early years to transcend his own poverty to build a global business enable him to focus on initiatives that create a lasting positive impact for humanity.
With an enlightened spirit, Mr. Li strives to facilitate real change in the world. Mr. Li’s aim was to build Tsz Shan Monastery as an institute of Buddhist practice and learning, to provide a place for quiet contemplation and purification, and to foster a culture of sharing and giving. Mr. Li believes that everyone has a “bright pearl, long obscured by dust and toil, and when the dust is gone and its light shines forth, a myriad of illuminations blossom across our mountains and rivers.”
Planning and construction of Tsz Shan Monastery began in 2003, and it was completed more than ten years later. Tsz Shan Monastery is a Chinese Buddhist monastery established for the preservation of the inheritance of the Dharma preached by Śākyamuni Buddha. To date, the Foundation has contributed a total of HK$3 billion to cover the land acquisition and construction costs, as well as the Monastery’s operating expenses. Tsz Shan Monastery has been open to the public since April 2015.