Two Statuettes of Guanyin, anonymous, 512
In the course of Buddhism’s gradual dissemination throughout Asia, the iconography of its idols evolved under regional influences. For instance, the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from India is known as Guanyin in China. A bodhisattva is an enlightened being who helps others with selfless compassion. Avalokiteshvara and Guanyin can be recognized by the lotus, either held in the hand or depicted in the halo behind the head.