Treasury of the Light of Knowledge

pencil, gouache, 22k gold powder
and gum arabic on vellum

7 ¾ x 9 ¾ in.
(19.7 x 24.8 cm)
15 ¼ x 17 ½ in.
(38.7 x 44.5 cm)


This is the only work in the exhibition that employs the pip as a focal point, rather than a miniscule repetitive device (see Inexhaustible Virtue Transcending All Worlds). Wudl often utilizes the pip or club motif to represent the microscopic, unseen particulate structures, such as molecules and atoms that combine to form all things in existence.

In Treasury of the Light of Knowledge, the artist offers a micro view into a singular isolated pip. If we look at the artist’s works collectively, we can begin to see how each one informs the other. Each is a fragment or glimpse into the collective whole of the subject. In this particular work, the artist imagines what one might see if we extract just one of those miniscule pips and place it under a microscope, revealing the possibility of other worlds to exist within each tiny particle.


In all of his works, Wudl is attempting to portray the incomprehensible vastness of everything as described in the sutra. This passage might help to elucidate this phenomenon:

Inconceivable, vast clouds of light
Stream endlessly from the Buddha’s pores;
They pervade all worlds and extinguish
The heat of afflictions of all beings.

Infinite oceans of emanations of Buddha,
Emerging from Buddha’s pores,
Go throughout the cosmos and stop the suffering
Of all miserable states of being.

All the exalted bodhisattvas
Are together in one pore of Buddha:
That way of liberation, which is inconceivable,
I cannot know in full.

Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture (A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra). p.1298-1299