2023 edition
European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture
Xu Zhen

Xu Zhen is a conceptual artist whose work often takes the form of provocative sculptures, installations and events that tackle contemporary China’s socio-political taboos, while also representing incongruous conflicts between the iconographies of different cultures, civilizations, and distant time periods.

The 14-metre (46 ft.) long and 5-metre (16 ft.) tall work, European Thousand-Arms Classical Sculpture, transforms 19 archetypal Western figurative sculptures into one dancing bodhisattva. Among these are copies of a bronze Poseidon, the Apollo from the roof of Paris’ Palais Garnier, the Statue of Liberty, and a crucified Christ figure. Reproduced and arranged in rows to represent the undulating, dancing arms of the thousand-armed Guanyin, they challenge the traditional idea of cultural separation, suggesting that all of humanity is part of a single, absurd celebration.

Xu Zhen was born in 1977 in Shanghai, where he lives and works. He is represented by Galerie Perrotin (Paris).