The Buddhist Bug by Anida Yoeu Ali
Showing December 21, 2014 – Jan 20, 2015
Viewing hours: 10am-5pm, everyday
The 1961 Coworking and Art Space
The Buddhist Bug is an interdisciplinary performance project that is born out of “otherness” and humor. This persona which draws on the religious iconography of both Islam and Buddhism follows the semi-autobiographical narrative of artist Anida Yoeu Ali. The Buddhist Bug is at times humorous, provocative and always curious. As a performance artist, Ali embodies The Bug in carefully constructed scenarios. The 40 meter long orange Bug, transformed by Ali’s stoic embodiment, enters each site with new eyes and sensations created through tiny gestures and slow movements in various urban and rural interactions. The work of The Bug is rooted in the artist’s performance and subsequently the resulting images and videos capture encounters from the curious, amused and/or apathetic onlookers.
Ali’s solo exhibition at The 1961 comes in the middle of a world tour for The Buddhist Bug. From 2014 -2015, group exhibitions featuring The Bug include: BudiDaya at the Malaysia Heritage Centre (Singapore, 2014), The 5th Fukuoka Triennale (Fukuoka, Japan, 2014), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Lyon, France, 2015), and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennale (Queensland, Australia, 2015). Being located in Siem Reap, the epicenter of Cambodian tourism, The 1961 offers another portal to re-examine the work in the context of touristic images proliferated across town and archaeological sites. New images, never before exhibited, reveal The Bug emerging from idyllic landscapes and caught in a group tour of an Angkorian temple. These vignettes, like other worldly postcards, capture The Buddhist Bug playfully exploring sites of displacement and belonging.
Ali states this about the work:
“For this exhibition in Siem Reap, I am unveiling new images never before seen or exhibited anywhere else in the world. Some of these vignettes are nostalgic ruminations dissecting the Diasporic dilemma, one that is caught between memory and reinvention. The series continues my interest in hybridity, transcendence, and otherness but I am also introducing images that complicate an idealized identity. For me, Siem Reap is the perfect site for an encounter with The Bug set against Cambodia’s iconic sites of rice fields, decaying colonial structures, ancient temples and tropical horizons.”
The exhibition, curated by Dana Langlois, will include photographs, videos and an installation of The Buddhist Bug. The artist will be present during the opening.
Roll Call, 2014, from The Buddhist Bug series by Anida Yoeu Ali
Angkorian Pride, 2014, from The Buddhist Bug series by Anida Yoeu Ali
Oxcart Grazing, 2014, from The Buddhist Bug series by Anida Yoeu Ali
Photo courtesy of Studio Revolt