Buddha 2

Sopheap Pich Cambodian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 249

“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

Buddha 2, Sopheap Pich (born Battambang, Cambodia 1971), Rattan, wire, dye, Cambodia

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