Giant Jesmonite Buddha | NGV International Triennial

It has taken 1 crane, 15 ground crew and 2 years in the making!

A giant Buddha created by Chinese artist Xu Zhen reclines in the foyer of NGV International.

At 18 metres long, Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, is the largest work in Xu's Eternal series and has been commissioned by the gallery for the inaugural NGV Triennial, which opened December 15th.

"We've been working with Xu Zhen and his studio for the last couple of years on this," says NGV senior curator contemporary, Simon Maidment.

"He has sourced sculptures from their situations in both Europe and China to form a singular work."

It is made up of a replica of a famous reclining Buddha from a grotto in China dating back to the High Tang Dynasty (705-781 AD). Dancing and posing on top of him are replica statues of Greek and Roman gods and mythical creatures, from museums across Europe.

The original statues were scanned from photographs using 3D technology. Xu and his team cast the statues in moulds using Jesmonite – making them much lighter than the originals – and then finished them off by hand.

Seven of Xu's team flew down to help NGV staff install the work with a crane, unwrapping the white statues from big wooden crates shipped from China.

sculpting material

Source - The Sydney Morning Herald, NGV Melbourne.

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