Buddhist Bug Project by Anida Yoeu Ali
Cambodian Artist explores displaced identities through a series of site-specific performances
The Buddhist Bug Project
What’s that travelling through the streets, causing a commotion and rallying in a crowd? An enormous orange sluggish creature with the face of a human and the body of a worm wiggles its way through the streets of Cambodia.
This performance artwork by Cambodian artist Anida Yoeu Ali creates a “surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday environments.” The stills of the creature amongst scenes of everyday life are fascinating in an alienating way. The awkwardness of the orange creatures, formed by 2 performers (one as the head of the bug and the other as the tail) placed in the rural landscapes are meant to reflect the artist’s own feelings of not belonging. Anida yoeu Ali’s inspiration for her site-specific performance comes from her personal experience. She was born a khmer muslim but has always had a deeply-rooted connection with Buddhism growing up in Cambodia. In this project, created in collaboration with photographer Masahiro Sugano and her creative partner from studio revolt, she alludes to Bhuddhism with the orange colour of the work’s exterior (which resembles that of a monk’s robes) as well as the head piece worn by the performer (resembling that of an Islamic hijab). The coupling of these two different belief systems very significant in her life represents the sense of displaced identity the artist had experienced growing up. By situating the human bug in both rural and urban areas around Cambodia in a series of site-specific performances, she amplifies the themes of displacement and alienation explored within her work.
Learn more about Ali’s site-specific performances and other works here!
Images from designboom