Tacoma-based international artist Anida Yoeu Ali is bringing The Buddhist Bug to life for one day only as part of her debut solo SAM exhibition Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Join us from 11 am to 2 pm to engage with the artist, take part in a drop-in art-making activity with teaching artist Nina Vichayapai, and revel in a few family-friendly literary surprises from mam's mooks!
The Buddhist Bug seeks to map a new spiritual and social landscape through its surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday environments. The Bug is an internationally acclaimed, interdisciplinary ongoing series of performances that explore issues of displacement and belonging. In this iteration, the fantastic saffron-colored creature fills the museum's galleries in its longest length yet, over 328 feet (100 meters). The constructed garment is rooted in Ali’s own diasporic identity and responds to her spiritual turmoil between Islam and Buddhism. Its bright orange color is the same one worn by Buddhist monks, and represents Cambodia’s profound Buddhist culture, while the cloth that tightly encircles the Bug’s stoic face represents both the hijab worn by some Muslim women, and the ethnic minority of Cham Muslims to which Ali and her family belong.
This project reflects the artist’s personality, one that combines humor, absurdity, performance, science fiction, and Ali’s love of everyday culture into moments that transcend the ordinary.
Visitors are also encouraged to wear orange in solidarity to the artwork and themes of The Buddhist Bug. Viewers are encouraged to actively witness, interact and engage with the Bug within their own comfort level.
This event will open with a blessing ceremony with dancers from Khmer Language Arts & Culture Academy (KLACA) alongside Wat Changtarangsey pagoda monks, who will perform a blessing ceremony sacred to Cambodian culture.
11 am–2 pm
Drop-in artmaking inspired by The Buddhist Bug. All are invited to create a sculptural masterpiece while exploring symbols of identity with creative prompts and guidance from teaching artist Nina Vichayapai.
First live performance of The Buddhist Bug.
Relax and enjoy a reading nook with a curated selection of books themed around identity, otherness, and belonging from mam's books!
Second live performance of The Buddhist Bug.
All programming is free with suggested museum admission. We encourage visitors to reserve their tickets in advance.
Image courtesy of Wei-Ling Gallery, photo: Leong Wei Cheong.