That of emptiness, of emptiness, is a central concept for Buddhist doctrine: emptiness is not only the instant that precedes the birth of all things, but it is also the final emptiness, the liberation of all sentient beings at one level. cosmic. Contrary to what happens in European cultural and philosophical traditions, where the term "emptiness" carries with it a negative connotation that brings it closer to nihilistic ideas and lack or deprivation, for Buddhism emptiness has a positive connotation linked in the last resort to the attainment of awareness, or to the understanding that life, with its continuous changes, is impermanence and interdependence, since everything exists only in relation to the other. Understanding this, and thus freeing oneself from the suffering of life, is resolved in a dimension of absolute peace (nirvana): this is where the essence of the Buddha is revealed, which is not divinity, but precisely Void.
The exhibition "The great void. From sound to image ", which opens at the MAO on May 6, is dedicated to these concepts: the exhibition aims to offer the public a particularly engaging multisensory experience and is also a strong sign of hope for a future that turns out to be uncertain and disheartening. The exhibition opens with a large empty space. However, it is not a real void, but a space that gradually becomes saturated with the presence of the notes of the young and award-winning Roman composer Vittorio Montalti, who for the occasion composed the piece "Il Grande Vuoto", in which silences, rhythms, sounds and the echo of the space itself become the matrix and metaphor of the divine construction of the ritual space: a work suspended between composition and sound installation that inhabits the different spaces of the Museum.
Visitors are invited by the music to make an experiential and meditative journey, to reach the fulcrum of the exhibition, in the Sala Colonne: here is in fact exhibited a very rare Tibetan thangka from the fifteenth century, the most precious of the MAO collections, which portrays Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future depicted in splendid robes and seated on the throne of lions. With his hands posed in dharmacakramudra (the act of setting the Wheel of the Law in motion), which reveals his future mission as promulgator of the Doctrine, the Buddha holds up the stems of plants and flowers, germinal symbols of a future liberation.