Zhang Huan: Sydney Buddha
By Victoria Saule
Here’s something to do during the summer that won’t involve getting uncomfortably sweaty, unwanted sock tans or finding half the sand from your local beach in your bag.
Sydney contemporary art-space Carriageworks, has just announced it will be graced by the largest art installation ever created, by internationally recognised Chinese artist, Zhang Huan.
Carriageworks, in association with Sydney Festival will run Zhang Huan: Sydney Buddha, an exhibition comprised of two, five metre high Buddhist sculptures, from the 8th of January to the 15th of March next year.
One sculpture will be an aluminium shell, placed facing its “interior” which will be made out of two tonnes of ash, collected from Buddhist temples around China.
Over the course of the exhibition, the Buddha made of ash will decay, symbolic of some serious Circle of Life-esque philosophies.
Like a lot of Huan’s art, the exhibition is a meditation on the brevity, renewal and destruction that permeates everyday life inspired by ancient Buddhist, Chinese and Tibetan histories.
Huan is an artist primarily renowned for his performance art, which has often involved him physically taking part in the art.
His work has involved a lot of nudity, pouring red liquids mixed with disfigured toy dolls over himself and being reprimanded by Chinese authorities.
Overall, Huan intends for his work to confront “the power of unified action to challenge oppressive political regimes; the status and plight of the expatriate in the new global culture; the persistence of structures of faith in communities undermined by violent conflict; and the place of censorship in contemporary democracy.”