In the land of South Korea resides an artist by the name of Wang Zi Won – a man who is busy constructing mechanical figures of the Buddha. Interested in the relationship between man, science and technology, Wang hopes that the future holds a positive harmony between humans and technology… something he tries to bring forth in his Buddhas.
The electrically-powered Buddhas find their form through many mechanical parts, many which resemble halos or lotus flowers. When they are powered-on, the halos, arms and flowers move together in repetitive motions. Shin Seung-ho of Dukwon Gallery explains Wang Zi Won’s intentions behind the small pieces:
“The artist predicts that in the future humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology just as men and animals in the past evolved to adapt themselves to their natural circumstances. He sees this future as our destiny, not as a negative, gloomy dystopia. His work is thus based on neither utopia not dystopia. Wang represents the relations between man, technology and science through the bodies of cyborgs.
The artist considers it important to escape from human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment. In Buddhism, the Bodhisattva of Compassion helps people attain enlightenment, Arhat is a spiritual practitioner of asceticism, and Buddha is a being who reaches the highest level of enlightenment. Through them, the artist intends to follow the path of enlightenment, breaking away from anxiety, agony, and pain. The artist has no intention to emphasize religious connotations through these Buddhist icons but to reflect his own or our own existence between utopia and dystopia.”