Saturday, March 02, 2013

Scarred Buddhas

In anticipation of New York's Season of Cambodia, the Met is showing recent works by Sopheap Pich in rattan. Two are integrated into the standing collection, one of them this "Buddha 2" from 2009. The work recalls a ruined temple Pich knew as a child, whose floor, walls and ceiling were splattered with blood.
In the corner of the gallery of Southeast Asian art where this is hung (Pich's 8-foot "Buddha 2" hovers spectrally at its center) is a late 12th century Khmer style Avalokitesvara, who once had eight arms. I don't think I'd ever been in these northeastmost rooms of the museum; glad to have had the occasion.

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