NGV Triennial 2018

Xu Zhen – Artst

Combining replicas of a famous Buddhist statue and Greco-Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical sculptures, Xu Zhen’s monumental installation brings together Eastern and Western cultural heritages to create, in the artists own words, ‘a new form of creative culture’ that he hopes will help bring about understanding and appreciation across cultures. As the basis of his work Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcissus Lying, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton, 2016–17, Xu uses the colossal form of a reclining Buddha dating from the High Tang Dynasty (705– 781 CE). More than 14 metres long, 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.