“Buddha 2 was born out of a short journey my family took on foot from a Khmer Rouge village to the center of Battambang, the province of my birth. The Buddha was to symbolize a temple called Wat Ta Mim. My family built a hut across the street. I used to go past the temple ground everyday with a buffalo to the rice field several hundred meters away. I would occasionally walk inside the temple hall to see bloodstains on the floor, ceiling, and walls—bloodstains that looked like they had been sprayed with a toy gun. Where there used to be the normal Buddha sculptures, there were just piles of broken things I couldn’t see. . . . I was afraid to look in the dark.
I’ve never made a Buddha sculpture prior to this. . . . It just happened that as I moved down from the shoulder area, I thought it maybe was enough for what I wanted to say. I dipped the ends of the strands in India ink to get at the bloodstains I had seen. Some say it is about the broken state of religion and culture.” —Sopheap Pich
Sopheap Pich born Battambang, Cambodia 1971 Phnom Phenh (2009–12) ; [ Tyler Rollins Fine Art , New York, 2012; sold to MMA]