the buddhist bug project travels through cambodia
all images courtesy of the philanthropic museum
seeking to map a new spiritual and social landscape, the buddhist bug project (bbug) by cambodian artist anida yoeu ali creates a surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday environments. the saffron-colored creature is an autobiographical exploration of the artist’s reaction to a sense of displaced identity, as she was raised a khmer muslim but maintains an innate fascination with the buddhist religion. referencing both sacred systems, the nomadic, other-worldly creature is lined with bright orange exterior skin — the color of buddhist monk robes — and wears a head piece based on the islamic hijab. together with photographer masahiro sugano, her creative partner from studio revolt, yoeu ali has brought the bbug to cambodia where she created a series of site-specific performances, inserting the coiled character into both urban and rural landscapes.
the buddhist bug at a cafeteria
the 30-meter long personality corkscrews through the traditional cityscape, intertwining amongst the locals and their habitats, resulting in humorous and dreamlike scenarios. ‘meters and meters of textile act as skin, as a way for the surface of my body to extend into public spaces, and as a metaphoric device for stories to spread across an expanse.’, the artist says ‘for me, performance and storytelling become ways of bridging the interior and exterior space of self as well as initiate critical dialogues between communities and institutions.‘ the buddhist bug project is currently being shown for art stage singapore.
in the cambodian landscape
interacting with locals in their environment
bbug situates on a traditional boat
the meters of orange skin represent the color of buddhist monk robes
traveling through the urban cityscape
the bbug’s presence in the environment creates a surrealistic scenario