galvanised steel (barbed wire), stainless steel, paint. 1m x 600 x 600 - 3.3 ft x 32” x 32”
As a concept the very notion of a Barbed Wire Buddha is volatile and controversial. It also raises key formalist art questions of materiality and technique. For believers, to place the Buddha – a focus of contemplation and faith - alongside barbed wire, a material substance that is specifically intended to injure, to defend, to keep out, may be offensive. For non-believers a barbed wire Buddha could be a humorous contradiction in terms, a visual culture one-liner, an ultimate and universal symbol of non-violence constructed from an immediately recognisable materiel of war, equally transcultural in its symbolic reach in the twenty-first century as is the Buddha. Dimopoulos’s Barbed Wire Buddha can generate an ideas universe that is rich, plural, multi-layered, complex yet immediately accessible and empowering to the general community. Yet it is not to be read or dismissed as a joke or a parody, but itself speaks of a changing and ever more complex social identity. In the so-called “Asian Century”, a Buddha statue is now a transnational, immediately recognised symbol that speaks in and to many cultures.
Exhibited in art gallery and sold to art collector
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