Ash Jesus and Ash Buddha – Macau - Atlas Obscura

Ash Jesus and Ash Buddha

Sculptures of religious figures made from the ashes of pilgrims' incense. 


Using the resurrected ashes from temple incense in Shanghai, Chinese artist Zhang Huan created the torsos of two of the most prominent religious figures in the world.

Standing over 8 feet tall, Ash Jesus and Ash Buddha were recently displayed in Macau. In a kind of religious showdown, the figures were installed facing each other; Jesus with hands outstretched, and Buddha sitting cross-legged, the perfect embodiment of tranquility.

These massive sculptures are two of many impressive works of art by Huan that incorporate the ashes of incense carried by pilgrims. Using steel, and wood as a frame, the sculptures were layered in ash, giving them a deathly and eerie look and adding further complexity and symbolism. Huan hoped the figures would show similarities between the Eastern and Western religions, and the two ash deities were shown in as a part of a larger exhibition entitled “East Wind, West Wind.”

Know Before You Go

This exhibit was a temporary exhibit sponsored by Louis Vuitton at their Flagship store at One Central Mall, NAPE, Macau. - The exhibition ran from April to June 2011 in their special art exhibit, ESpace. As such this temporary exhibit is no longer available in Macau

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January 26, 2012

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