Art & Design

There’s A Giant Buddha Popping Up At The NGV

By James Shackell
27th Nov 2017


The headline kind of says it all with this one.

As part of their massive new Triennial exhibition, the NGV are installing an 18-metre reclining Buddha, built by international contemporary artist Xu Zhen. The sculpture weighs in at 15 tonnes, or about 12.6 Volkswagen Golfs in the old scale.

The Buddha breaks down into 20 individual pieces, which have to be carefully assembled by Xu Zhen and his team. It’s modelled on the famous reclining Buddha from the High Tang dynasty, built in the Nirvana Cave, near the Chinese city of Dunhuang. What makes this one different is the Greco-Roman sculptures sitting on top, a personal flourish by Zhen. As if a Buddha big enough to swallow you whole wasn’t cool enough.

‘Xu’s work brings together elements from Eastern and Western cultural heritages to promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation,’ says NGV Directory Tony Ellwood.

You can catch the Eternity Buddha, as it’s known, in the NGV’s Federation Court, beneath the atrium. The Triennial officially kicks off on 15 December, and entry is 100% free.

Expect many unwittingly ironic Buddha selfies over the next few months...

Want more info on the Triennial? Check out all the details over here

Image credit: NGV 

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