Original woodblock, Vesak Day

These carved woodblocks depict Vesak Day festival in which the Baby Buddha is paraded together with people in contemporary clothing, including the figure of an official seated like a Buddha on a lotus throne. Le Quoc Viet completed the carving of these three woodblocks during his residency at the Asian Civilisations Museum, as part of the exhibition, "Viet Nam! From Myth to Modernity" held in May 2008. The metaphors here allude to the artist's deeply held concerns about the lack of understanding of traditional practices in Vietnam today. The pervasive consumerist culture which is only concerned with displays of wealth, is one aspect he writes about in the inscription on the far right of the piece. Le Quoc Viet is one of the few Vietnamese artists who has studied classical Chinese and Nom Vietnamese, the traditional Vietnamese language as well as the techniques of traditional Vietnamese woodblock carving. His works have been collected by Museums around the world including the British Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, New York.