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Asian art

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Title

Our Gods


Artist

LIU Xiaoxian

China, Australia

1963 -


About

'In this subtle and insightful work, each larger-than-life image proves on close inspection to be composed of digitally produced images of the other: Christ is created from tiny figures of Buddha and the Buddha from tiny images of Christ. There are 22,500 smaller figures in each large figure. The Buddha is in fact the so-called 'Laughing Buddha', a historical figure called Budai who also became synonymous with the Future Buddha Maitreya. Budai was an eccentric pot-bellied Chinese monk easily recognisable by his enormous smile and the large cloth bag he always carried. Budai was revered as an enlightened being, detached from the cares that bind the rest of us. He became associated with Maitreya because of his supramundane character and because of a famous poem he wrote on his deathbed that implied that he was Maitreya in disguise.

In Chinese folklore, he became a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The artist Liu Xiaoxian was born in China and emigrated to Australian in the 1980s.'

‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.181
© 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Details


Place where the work was made

China


Date

2000


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

18 type C photographs


Edition

1/3


Dimensions

a - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

b - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

c - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

d - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

e - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

f - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

g - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

h - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

i - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

j - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

k - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

l - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

m - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

n - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

o - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

p - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

q - photograph; 100 x 100 cm

r - photograph; 100 x 100 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2000


Accession number

168.2000.a-r


Artist information

LIU Xiaoxian

Works in the collection

2


Place

Where the work was made
China

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 6 publications

Bibliography


Dinah and Michael Dysart, Art and Australia (Vol. 41, No. 4), 'Asian Galleries. Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 541-543, Sydney, Jun 2004-Aug 2004, 541, 542 (colour illus.), 543.

Peter Hill, Photofile 59, 'Passing Time: Photography at the Moet & Chandon Exhibition 2000' Reviewed, pg.59, Sydney, Apr 2000, 59.

Victoria Lynn, Moet & Chandon Exhibition 2000 - Passing Time, 'Xian Xian Liu', Sydney, 2000, (colour illus.) Not paginated.

John McDonald, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, 'The cultural revolution', pg. 18-26, Sydney, Dec 2002, 21 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), Buddha: Radiant awakening, Sydney, 2001, 178 (colour illus.), 180 (colour illus.), 188. The image appearing on page 178 is a detail of this work. cat.no. 131

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Shanghai School and Modern Painting', Sydney, 2003, 181 (colour illus.).