Three Legged Buddha by Zhang Huan
From 8 October 2007
In the Annenberg Courtyard
Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007. Welded copper with steel inner frame, 8.6m high.
The Royal Academy of Arts, in collaboration with Haunch of Venison London, presents a sculptural installation entitled Three Legged Buddha by the eminent Chinese artist, Zhang Huan.
Created especially for the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard, the installation is the latest in the RA’s programme of Sculpture in the Courtyard, following works by the Chapman Brothers, Anselm Kiefer, Rodin and Damien Hirst.
The piece depicts the bottom half of a three-legged Buddha. Two of the legs are supported by posts and the third rests on a Buddha’s head. The arch-like structure stands at 8.6m, allowing visitors to walk underneath it. The sculpture is made of copper panels welded together and is supported by a steel inner frame. It is the most significant of his recent over-sized sculptures depicting parts of the Buddha, and is a reference to the past desecration of centuries-old artefacts.
Zhang Huan is one of the most notable artists working in China today. Born in 1965, he first came to prominence as a member of Beijing’s art underground in the 1990s following his graduation as a painter from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He became well known for his performance art in China and New York, much of which tackled political and social issues. In 2005 he moved back to China and engaged in object-based work including sculpture and paintings.
The installation will remain on display until December 2007, and coincides with the opening of Zhang Huan’s exhibition, Ash, at Haunch of Venison London, 10 October – 10 November.