Long Island Buddha

  • 2010
  • Zhang Huan
  • Copper
  • 172 x 277 x 177 cm

Inspired by a trip to Tibet in 2005, where Zhang Huan discovered and collected fragments of Buddhist sculptures that had been damaged or destroyed under the Maoist regime. With the welded joints left visible and the surface allowed to go rusty, the work is a serene reminder of the fleeting nature of life.

© Zhang Huan Studio. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage © Zhang Huan Studio. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Zhang Huan

Steeped in Buddhist philosophy, Zhang Huan explores themes relating to the mind/body connection and to cycles of life and death.

After graduating from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1993, Huan became known for his provocative performances in which he directly confronts water, blood, ice, and dead and living animals, testing his own physical and psychological limits. 12m2 (1994) is one of his most famous performances, for which the artist smeared himself in fish oil and honey and sat in a Beijing public lavatory while insects covered him. He pursued his work as a performer during his time in New York, from 1998 to 2005. His subsequent return to China marked a turning point. Having become a Buddhist, he has worked with 100 assistants to produce sculptures, installations and paintings that draw on religious iconography as well as contemporary Chinese history.

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