A rotating exhibit of the things I love most about living in San Francisco.

three head six arm buddha arrives at SF City Hall

Standing 30 feet tall and weighing in at 15-tonnes, “Three Head Six Arm Buddha” by Zhang Huan was installed in Civic Center plaza on May 5th, 2010. The sculpture is a gift from Shanghai, our “Sister City”, and it commemorates the 30th anniversary of the relationship.

The artist derived his inspiration for the piece upon his discovery of Tibetan artifacts for sale at a market in China, remnants of original works of art plundered during the Cultural Revolution.

Quoted from the article in the SF Examiner:

“The sculpture’s theme is based on the story of the three-headed, six-armed prodigy Nezha, according to an artist’s statement.

“Its figure implies surpassing spirit of the challenge to self-limit, the challenge to the human limits,” Zhang wrote. ”

For more information about this inspiration, check out this detailed article on SF CITIZEN. As you’ll discover there, “The artist, having been deeply moved by the sight of the desecrated statues, believes that by recreating these fragments on a grand scale, he is able to alleviate the pain caused by their destruction.”

A flower that has bloomed on the Plaza, the sculpture is a joyous and beautiful expression of that motivation! Already drawing a crowd, I have no doubt San Francisco will embrace the Buddha. The scale of the piece matches the scale of the place, yet doesn’t overpower it.  And, the space around it is electric! No matter which way you approach it, Three Head Buddha will make eye contact with you, while the tentacular arms invite you in. . . in a good way.  The feeling of peace and harmony is palpable here, and the Buddha offers a loving embrace that inspires a smile!

three head six arm buddha

three head six arm buddha of Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco

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One response

  1. Pingback: farmer’s market haul, civic center- has anyone ever seen a melon like this before? Plus a Six Arm Buddha and, the TRUTH mural « MUS•e•YUM

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