The Buddhist Bug Comes to Java Cafe

From Chicago to Singapore, The Buddhist Bug returns home to Cambodia with an exhibition opening and Cambodian premiere of The Buddhist Bug on Mar. 1 at Java Gallery. The exhibition will bring together performance, photography and video works of the project and the 30 metre installation of The Buddhist Bug that will span across the space.

The Buddhist Bug Comes to Java Cafe The Buddhist Bug returns home with an exhibition opening and premiere of The Buddhist Bug on Mar. 1 at Java GalleryDuring the opening artist Anida Yoeu Ali will perform as The Buddhist Bug. The works are exhibited at the well-known Java Gallery that has been dedicated to contemporary Cambodian art for over 12 years. It will show until Apr. 7.

The Buddhist Bug is the concept of Anida Yoeu Ali, and a project of Studio Revolt. “The Buddhist Bug is a fantastic saffron-coloured creature that can span the length of a 30-metre bridge or coil into a small orange ball,” says Ali. “Rooted in an autobiographical exploration of identity, the Bug comes from the artist’s own spiritual turmoil between Islam and Buddhism. Set amongst everyday people in ordinary moments, the Bug provokes obvious questions of belonging and displacement.”

The Bug is an other-worldy character with bright orange “skin” the colour of Buddhist monk robes with a head piece based on the Islamic hijab. Together with photographer Masahiro Sugano (her creative partner from Studio Revolt), Ali brought the Bug to Cambodia, the country of her birth and of the Bug. She created a series of site-specific performances, inserting the Bug into urban and rural landscapes, resulting in humorous and surreal scenarios.

“The Bug traveled on a cyclo and remorque to visit various neighborhoods. Curiosity was a mutual reaction between the Bug and people. Many people stared. Some smiled and laughed. Others pointed. Some people tried to make contact. While on the campus of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the Bug attempted to have lunch in the local cafeteria. No one wanted to sit near the Bug. During this trip, the Bug discovered an amazing stairway near the Central Market. Reacting with instinct, the Bug climbed the stairwell in the hopes of finding home,” says Ali.

The Buddhist Bug will also be exhibited concurrently on the Philanthropic Musuem website, in collaboration with its founder and curator Patricia Levasseur de la Motte. More information found here

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