The Transnational Buddhism of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring

  • Author(s): Francisca Cho
  • When: 2014-03
  • Where: Contemporary Buddhism
  • Kim Kiduk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring is a Buddhist film from Korea that reflects both traditional Asian and modern western-influenced impulses. A close reading of the film reveals how it replicates long-standing ritual practices such as seeing and being seen by the Buddha, and literary themes such as the cycle of karma. It also exhibits fidelity to canonical accounts of contemplative practices, reflecting a mainstream interest of western Buddhism that has found its way back to Korean society. Kiduk's film demonstrates that Buddhism is a complex and dynamic entity that evolves through a process of feedback and response in a global context that should not be atomized into "Asian" versus "western" and "traditional" versus "contemporary" fragments.

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