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© San Francisco Chronicle

Yesterday the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a 15-ton Buddhist sculpture by artist Zhang Huan, currently installed in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, has become a popular target for graffiti artists. The statue, “Three Heads Six Arms,” is a combination of Buddhism and Daoism. The work merges the body of a bodhisattva with the body of the Chinese Daoist deity Nezha. Among the many phrases spraypainted on the 1.6 million dollar structure was “Jesus is the one.”

Sadly, the vandalism has forced the city to surround the sculpture with a temporary 6-foot fence, preventing visitors from seeing Huan’s work of art—a work that the artist had hoped would bring peace and tolerance to the city. Huan recently spoke to the Chronicle about the meaning behind the massive sculpture:

The meaning behind the form of “Three Heads Six Arms” is the transcendental spirit of challenging one’s personal limits, of challenging the very limits of mankind….This work is currently my largest public installation. She has three heads and six arms, she is so welcoming, tolerant, all-embracing. She is sure to bring greater peace and harmony to San Francisco, mankind and the whole universe.

Though some have speculated that the sculpture is a comment on China’s policy towards Tibet, Huan claims that there was no political motivation behind the artwork and instead cites a fragment of an antique Tibetan sculpture as the inspiration for “Three Heads Six Arms.”

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To read the full article on the Huan’s sculpture click here.

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