Melting Buddha

Kurt Kleiner
Image of Melting Buddha

Ice Buddha No.1 –Kyi Chu River is a series of photographs by the American photographer Jason Sangster taken of a melting ice sculpture created by Tibetan artist Gade.

In 2006, Gade took water from the Kyi Chu River near the holy city of Lhasa, Tibet and cast it into a sculpture of the Shakyamuni Buddha. He then placed the sculpture back into the river and allowed it to melt away to its original state.

Gade has said that the transformation of the water from liquid to solid and back again represents the Buddhist notion of impermanence and change. His work often explores Tibetan religious themes, sometimes contrasting them with iconic modern figures such as Mickey Mouse or brands such as Coca Cola.

Ice Buddha No. 1 first appeared in a 2007 Doris McCarthy Gallery exhibit. The photographs are now on permanent display at the UTSC Council Chambers.