Buddhist Art Makes Plea for Nature

June 12, 2010

Author: Wang Shutong

Source: Buddhist Channel/Global Times


It's common knowledge that in ancient Chinese folk wisdom, the tiger has a negative connotation - a large, exceptionally fierce wild animal, tigers have been hunted for centuries and are now extremely endangered.

However, Free Tiger Returns to Mountains, a new exhibit from Buddhist conceptual artist Zhang Huan on display at Pace Beijing, is hoping to revive this near-extinct species in a particularly striking and ironic way - by depicting them entirely out of ashes collected from joss sticks in Buddhist temples. In this way he turns his tribute to the tiger into a religious elegy.

Inspired by the unusual deaths of several tigers in the Shenyang Forests Wild Zoological Garden in Liaoning Province, Zhang decided to create the artwork to raise consciousness of tiger preservation among the Chinese populace. According to the basic concepts of Buddhist belief, all creatures deserve the same opportunities to live as naturally as possible in peace and tranquility.