Three Legged Buddha, 2007
Steel and copper, 28’ 2 1/2 x 42’ x 22’ 7 5/8"
(859.8 x 1280.2 x 1198 cm)
Storm King Art Center, Gift of Zhang Huan and The Pace Gallery
While the legs of Three Legged Buddha are modeled closely after Buddhist fragments, the sculpture’s face—depicted rising from the ground, only visible from the nostrils upwards—is actually a self-portrait of the artist. Zhang folds himself into his creation, much as he took his own body as subject throughout his earlier performance-based work. This work includes aspects of performance in the perforations that appear on the copper surface, and hatches that allow workers to gain access to its interior: Zhang intends for incense to be burned inside the sculpture, with the resultant smoke emanating through these holes as well as through the head’s open nostrils and eyes. Three Legged Buddha is the only sculpture that Zhang has created with incense holes of this type.