Alberto traveled to the Fo Guang Shan monastery in Taiwan in the process of creating Pray to the Silence, a manga (Japanese comic) depicting the fictional Rodrigo de la Cruz’ journey from Catholicism to Buddhism during his stay at a Buddhist monastery. Conceptually, the project was focused on the issues of spiritual crises, self-discovery, and interfaith. The tale is a spiritual bildungsroman or coming-of-age, which is a predominantly Western medium. By illustrating that narrative through an Eastern medium he hopes to create an aesthetic cross-cultural dialogue that reflects the religious dialogue between Western Catholicism and Eastern Buddhism.
Alberto received a UAR Chappell Lougee Scholarship for this work as a sophomore.
Alberto Hernandez has drawn and written poetry since high school, focusing especially on religious and spiritual experiences (his parents’, his friends’, and his own). He hopes to integrate his Catholic and Buddhist experiences with his study of poetics as a Comparative Literature major.