10 August 2005

laser buddhas

Afghanistan's famous Bamiyan Buddhas are due to be recreated by multicoloured laser images projected onto the cliffs where they once stood. The 1,600-year-old statues, which stood on the Silk Road in the Bamiyan Valley, were destroyed by the Taleban in 2001. Artist Hiro Yamagata will use solar and wind power to project a series of images onto four miles of clay cliffs. Afghan government officials, who approached the Japanese artist in 2003, are awaiting approval from Unesco. Fourteen laser systems would project 140 faceless images, standing up to 175ft (52.5m) tall, onto the cliff-face for four hours every Sunday night.

The California-based artist, who visited Bamiyan in 2003, hoped his artwork would give something back to the war-torn region by using the imported windmills to provide power for surrounding villages. He also planned to employ local workers to build the foundations for the windmills. "Many people say, 'My art will heal the people,'" said Yamagata. "Of course I help people, but it's more about not harming people." "I'm doing a fine art piece. That's my purpose - not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a political statement."

from the bbc
original article at msnbc

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