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From Chicago to Singapore, The Buddhist Bug returns home to Cambodia

March 1 – April 7, 2013

Java Gallery (JavaArts)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Buddhist Bug is the concept of artist Anida Yoeu Ali, and a
project of Studio Revolt. In the artist statement she explains: “The
Buddhist Bug Project seeks to map a new spiritual and social landscape
through its surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday
environments. The Buddhist Bug is a fantastic saffron-colored creature
that can span the length of a 30-metre bridge or coil into a small
orange ball. 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
color of Buddhist monk robes with a head piece based on the Islamic
hijab. Together with photographer Masahiro Sugano (her creative
partner from Studio Revolt), Anida 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.

Anida describes these interactions: “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.”

The exhibition opening and Cambodian premiere of The Buddhist Bug will
take place on Friday, March 1st, 2013. The exhibition will bring
together performance, photography and video works of the project and
the 30 meter installation of The Buddhist Bug that will span across
the space. During the opening Anida will perform as The Buddhist Bug.
The works are exhibited at the well-known Java Gallery, a café and
gallery space that has been dedicated to propagation of contemporary
Cambodian art for over 12 years. As a space that functions at the
intersection of daily life and higher art, it highlights the concept
of the work as the embodiment of “otherness.”

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. For additional details,
Patricia can be contacted at patriciadelamotte@gmail.com, and more
info found here http://www.thephilanthropicmuseum.org/.

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