Skip to content

Collection

An image of Our Gods by LIU Xiaoxian

LIU Xiaoxian

(China, Australia 1963 – )

Title
Our Gods
Place of origin
China
Year
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-rr
Copyright
© LIU Xiaoxian
Location
Not on display
Further information

'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

Bibliography (6)

Dinah and Michael Dysart, Art and Australia (Vol. 41, No. 4), 'Asian Galleries. Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 541-543, Paddington, 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, Paddington, 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.).

Exhibition history (2)

Moët & Chandon Exhibiton 2000 - Passing Time, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Feb 2000–19 Mar 2000

Buddha: Radiant awakening, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Nov 2001–24 Feb 2002