The undulating knobby surface is modelled resembling a seated figure of Daruma or Bodhidharma wearing a high cowl framing his face, his long robe drapes around his shoulder and knees. The rich caramel-brown wood grows around a stone which forms the face and chest. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk, possibly from Central Asia or India, in the 5th-6th century who is believed to be the first transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China.
Boxwood grows extremely slowly so sculptures in this size are very rare and were highly favoured by the literati, for it embodied the scholars intellectual curiosity and their affinity to nature. As an object of contemplation, the viewer is encouraged to find their own inner language and symbolism.
• A similar rootwood sculpture but of a different Buddhist figure,‘Guanyin’, was sold in Christies, H.K 2019