Cinquante bras de Bouddha

  • 1997
  • Huang Yong Ping
  • Metal, terra cotta, resin, various objects
  • Maximum dimensions: 600 x 420 cm

While the original inspiration for the sculpture came when the artist visited the church of St. Ludgeri in Münster, where an armless crucifix bears the inscription “I have no arms other than yours, Cinquante Bras de Bouddha (“Buddha’s Fifty Arms”) (1997-2013) reinvents the Buddha with a thousand hands from Buddhist iconography. Using a metal structure based on Marcel Duchamp’s Bottle Rack (1914), moulded and sculpted arms in clay and resin hold objects borrowed from the iconography of the goddess Guan Yin, such as the rosary (meditation), the bow (intuition), the bell (wisdom), the ritual sceptre (action and compassion), the Samsara wheel (cycle of reincarnations), the arrow and the ritual sword of the young Buddha Siddharta, the stupa (a structure that symbolises the figure of Buddha), the lotus flower (purity) and peacock feathers (evoking the eyes of the goddess). Combining symbolic and domestic objects (broom, spade, etc.) in a synthesis between East and West, past and present, the piece suggests a contemporary vision of a world in a constant state of renewal.

© Adagp, Paris, 2016. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Huang Yong Ping

A major figure of the Chinese avant-garde and the founder of the Xiamen Dada movement in 1986, Huang Yong Ping rose to international prominence through the "Magiciens de la Terre" exhibition held in Paris in 1989. 

At the boundary between East and West, his installations and sculptures combine Buddhist and Taoist symbols, and references to Christianity, the history of art and Western philosophy. Often using animals in his works, both living and stuffed, he creates allegories about society, the future and the hybridisation of identities.

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