MELBOURNE.- The National Gallery of Victoria
has begun installing one of its largest works specially commissioned for its summer exhibition, the NGV Triennial.
Spanning 18m in length, Xu Zhens monumental installation, Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana
2016-17, brings together different cultural traditions by combining replicas of a famous reclining Buddha statue with 3D scanned and cast Greco-Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical sculptures.
As visitors arrive in Federation Court they will encounter the sheer scale and beauty of this world-premiere installation by renowned Chinese contemporary artist Xu Zhen said Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV.
Xus work brings together elements from Eastern and Western cultural heritages to promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation, said Ellwood.
Xu Zhen is a leading international contemporary artist whose works often take the form of immense sculptural installations that address Eastern and Western assumptions about Chinese art and the global art market.
As the basis of his installation at the NGV, Xu has recreated the colossal form of a reclining Buddha dating from the High Tang Dynasty (705781 CE). The original was built into a man-made grotto, the Nirvana Cave, near the wealthy and cosmopolitan Chinese city of Dunhuang, situated at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road.
The artist has also created replicas of historical sculptures based on the gods and heroes of Greek and Roman mythology. Each of the 3D scanned and cast figures adorning the great Buddha has its own colourful history, such as the famous Dying Gaul, an ancient Roman marble, itself a copy of a lost Greek bronze original.
Occurring every three years, the NGV Triennial is a free, gallery-wide exhibition of contemporary art, design and architecture that features the work of more than 100 artists and designers from around the world.