Far East on the Edge of the West

As of last week a four-hundred-year-old Chinese temple ruin housing a statue of chairman Mao overlooks the sea at Pilane. The installation, by Chinese artist Zhang Huan, is part of this summer’s exhibition and will stand until September 16.

Pilane. Photo: Claes Hake

Peter Lennby, founder of Pilane, wants to provide an experience of art in nature accessible to all, regardless of age and background.

“The rock where the temple stands is one of Bohuslän’s highest points. It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but once you see the temple, it really brings you close to history, to nature and to the rest of the world. There’s also something about seeing the horizon that’s very freeing, we don’t see horizons nearly enough in contemporary life.”

Standing up there, gazing out at wide, blue ocean, it’s easy to imagine the globe stretching out beyond it; to feel America, or even China on the other side.

Huan has shown work at Pilane before, in 2008 he contributed “Three-Legged Buddha.”

“He travels the Chinese and Tibetan countryside looking for fragments of history, left through the ravages of war and nature. Sometimes it’s fragments of Buddha statues, in this case it’s an entire temple,” says Lennby.

Given that Pilane has ancient ruins of its own, the temple provides a mirror of sorts to the already existing mix of history and contemporary art on site.

“I’m interested in showing cultural objects as art objects, I think the boundary between those categories is always negligible and at Pilane it’s irrelevant,” says Lennby.

By: Sarah Clyne Sundberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *