The Fasting or Starving Buddha is an iconic representation depicting Prince Siddhartha Gautama after six years of self-denial in an effort to end desire and gain release from a repeating cycle of birth, life, death and suffering. Eventually, Siddhartha realized that fanatical austerity was as unproductive as his former life of incessant luxury, and embraced the Middle Way to Enlightenment. By juxtaposing an object of contemporary desire against the backdrop of a Fasting Buddha, Cambodian painter Chov Theanly throws our modern value system into sharp relief. Set against an image of ascetic extremes, each desire loses its potent urgency of the moment and leads to a querying of yearning, necessity and purpose.
Humping rabbits signify sex, an egg desire for offspring, a double cheeseburger and bucket of fried chicken food that we crave, sports shoes and a barbell the pursuit of physical perfection. But Chov Theanly also draws on personal experiences and viewpoints – the mortarboard represents higher education, and also alludes to schools which teach what they want you to know, not what you want to learn (Theanly is self-taught and rejected the local art school).
Venue: Utterly Art Exhibition Space, 20B Mosque Street (Level 3), Singapore 059500
Hours: By appointment only. Please call 94872006 or 62262605 (Keng Hock)
When: 12 - 29 Mar 2015,
By: Utterly Art