The inspiration for "Birthday Buddhas" came to me when I was at the temple making merits to my own Birthday Buddha, which is Pacifying the Relatives for Monday.
Often, people would make merits to their personal Birthday Buddhas - different posture of Buddha for different days of the week. There is also different chanting mantras to different postures as well as color theme, which is very intriguing. I asked myself, "What do these different postures mean?" Then I began to research and create this collection to fulfill my need to deepen my knowledge as a Buddhist as well as my creativity.
"In most of my paintings, when you look closely, you will see boats. It is my medium, my interpretation to life. We were born to travel through different stages, and reincarnate. Like a boat, sometimes in life we must travel through a storm or sail in peaceful sea". - Amalakaa
Each painting in this collection tells a story from Buddha's major life events. The color theme of each day also varies. Like this one below in green called Paang Oombaat which depicts a story of when Buddha went to give sermons to his Royal Relatives in Kapilavastu and stayed overnight, but they didn't invite Buddha to come for breakfast. As morning came, Buddha went out with his Alms-Bowl on the streets of Kapilavastu. That was the first time people of Kapilavastu has seen Buddha with his Alms Bowl.
The stories I tell through my paintings are somewhat child-like; there will be elements that can easily be interpreted and understood. I believe this comes from the years I spent teaching Art to children and being around them. I want to translate their innocent nature into the paintings as well.