Peace No. 2, 2001
Cast bronze, gold leaf, and steel,
20’ x 8’ 1/8 x 8’ 1/8
(610 x 244 x 244 cm)
Courtesy the artist
A life-size, gold leaf replica of Zhang Huan’s body hangs from the center of Peace No. 2. The artist’s head is positioned as the clapper of what appears to be a traditional Buddhist temple bell. The writing on the outside of the bell—which historically would be Buddhist scripture—was devised by Zhang and his studio assistants. The dreams of his assistants, as well as the names of Zhang’s own family members, are written on the bell, thereby personalizing this Buddhist tradition. This piece is one in a series of works that address the significance of bells in Buddhism, which are used to evoke a yearning for peace of mind, physical well-being, and social harmony.