from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III:
Since the news media’s reports that the auction price of paintings by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III exceeded $900,000 per square foot on the market, many people brought artworks they thought to be by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to the Superb Art Museum of America for authentication. However, the authentications by the Superb Art Museum of America found that most of these artworks are counterfeit. These fake paintings were stamped with the seals of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III used in the earlier years but the painting itself is a forged piece mimicking a genuine one. For instance, a painting of Lotus and a painting of Gallant Lion were destroyed publicly long ago because H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III did not consider them to be precious pieces. Only color photos of these pieces still exist now. However, they now re-surfaced on the market again. Take a famous painting named “Scene of Xishuang Banna Life” as another example. The painting brought for authentication was stamped with a genuine seal, even the red ink paste of the stamp is the true ink paste used by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in the earlier years. Its size is also the same as the original piece. However, the genuine piece with the same name is currently in the collection of the Superb Art Museum of America. Confronting such a situation, based on the attitude of being responsible to all people in society, the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has no other choice but to make the following public announcement to the world:
As has already been widely known, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has always held an utmost serious and rigorous attitude toward artistic creations. Every piece of painting that comes to the world has passed an extreme cautious selection process. Take an event that was reported by numerous news media for example. In 1994, witnessed by several hundred surrounding people including reporters, art appraisers, collectors and onlookers, at Jinghuishan Hotel in Dayi County, Sichuan Province of China, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III (known as Master Wan Ko Yee at the time) held a public ceremony of burning up His own paintings and calligraphic works. More than two hundred pieces of artworks that His Holiness did not consider to be up-to-standard were burnt away. Even though these works were regarded as upper-class artworks by many artists, they were treated as trash by Master Wan Ko Yee at the time and burnt down to ashes.
In the year of 2000, the painting inscribed with the signature of “Wan Ko” and stamped with His Holiness’ fingerprint seal, “Majesty,” was sold at a price of US$66,250 per square foot in an international auction. In 2007, based on actual sales, the price trend on the market of a painting with the same inscription of “Wan Ko” and fingerprint stamp reached $330,000 per square foot. This was the price level realized when Master Wan Ko Yee was purely regarded as an artist. However, since the year of 2008 when the true identity of Master Wan Ko Yee as the real H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III was revealed and published from the investigation and verification by eminent monks and great virtuous ones around the world, the status of a Buddha kept H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III busy at benefiting living beings without having the time to create paintings. Furthermore, this unique status of being a Buddha in the entire world made every genuine painting and calligraphy inscribed with “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III” unlimitedly precious. As of now, if a painting is signed with “Wan Ko” and stamped by the seal of fingerprint, the price is between $330,000 and $360,000 per square foot. If the signature is in the Buddha’s title of “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III” and the painting is stamped by the seal of fingerprint, the closing auction price has reached $902,571 per square foot. Regardless of being signed as “Wan Ko” or “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III,” the prices of these genuine paintings have increased many fold during the last few years. At the same time, some saddening events occurred due to the fact that all paintings and calligraphic works as well as stamps of inscription created by Master Wan Ko Kee earlier than ten years ago went into collections of or were stolen by people in the society through different means. Many illegitimate mimicking painters emerged in the world. They use the method of “stamping a genuine seal on a counterfeit painting” to confuse the art world and fake their works as paintings by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III for huge profit.
Encountering the counterfeit paintings and calligraphy that keep appearing continuously, in order to protect the interests of collectors of paintings and calligraphy by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the Superb Art Museum of America, the United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters, and the International Buddhism Sangha Association collectively established the Authentication Committee of Paintings and Calligraphy by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Any painting or calligraphy by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with the inscription of “Wan Ko” or “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III” must first be authenticated by this committee. After determining that it truly is a genuine artwork by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the Authentication Committee will issue a certificate of authentication and present the artwork to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. His Holiness will then personally stamp it with the seal of fingerprint. Therefore, genuine pieces created by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III will eventually all be stamped with His Holiness’ seal of fingerprint.
In addition, there is an even more important check that no one can counterfeit. Any genuine artwork of painting or calligraphy by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, whether it is created before or after the last ten years, can be verified by its computer-stored file copy. Regarding the artworks of paintings and calligraphy that have already been spread into the possession of collectors around the world, the original copy can be sent to the Authentication Committee for authentication. Once verified to be a genuine piece, not only H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III will personally stamp it with the seal of fingerprint, the record of the artwork will also be stored for future consultation and verification.
Thus, only artworks that conform to the above two criteria of having the fingerprint stamp of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and matching the computer-stored file records belong to the genuine pieces created by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Otherwise, none should be regarded as genuine work by His Holiness.
From the Office of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III,
March 27, 2010-Revised July 15, 2011