Projet Buddha + yan chung hsien video/installation art exhibition
2007-03-30 ~ 2007-04-21
This exhibition consists of three video/installation art works: Buddha Project, The Mountain, and Robe Maze, and aims to present a pseudo-ritual of “Build-up Buddha” from traditional Taiwan custom. The art works merge into the various space of the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts. When visitors walk inside the gallery, they would have some pseudo-pilgrimage experiences such as “attain Buddhahood”, “deconstruct Buddha”, and “being Buddha”.
Among the art works, the Buddha Project is composed of seven “soft architectural” Buddha statues that are made of stuffed black garbage bags and hemp ropes. They are hung among the bamboo truss. With very dim light, visitors would step into a mysterious land and look up at ghost-like soft Buddha statues. With fear, they would be enlightened that the inviolable sacredness and the tremendous fears are, in fact, two sides of one coin.
Compare with the black, horrible Project Buddha, the inspiration of The Mountain comes from the famous fiction Journey to the West. The artist set up a soft Hand Puppet Show’s stage with gray fabric stuffed with cotton. A video features puppets Tang Sanzang, Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing along with real performers is projected. These characters present five acts: Cave of Water Curtain, The Mountain, The Mountain of Fire, Fruit of Ginseng and Bottomless Ferryboat. “Games” and “journeys” are the main tone of this play, and modern, happy ridiculous “sightseeing” scenes are led in as well. The piece emphasizes on the contrast between “obtain sutra” in Buddha land and “travel for pleasure” in the man’s world. Furthermore, it also stresses on the graciousness and accessibility of the Buddha of present.
The third video/installation Robe Maze is a performance. Performers wore colored wool robes and acted exaggeratedly and arrogantly. They kept on putting on/taking off robes and worshipping Buddha. Seemingly, these people were enjoying a carnival with great happiness. Yet their bemused, crazy facial expressions are actually portraitures of praying for Buddha’s blessings. It also refers to the endless desires and weakness of human beings.