The Buddhist Bug and The Red Chador @ Seattle Asian Art Museum

A big new show at SAAM 🪱

📸: Campus Dining, The Buddhist Bug Series, Courtesy Anida Yoeu Ali | Studio Revolt | Photo by Masahiro Sugano

📆 Thursday, January 18th – Sunday, July 7th
📍 Seattle Asian Art Museum: 1400 E Prospect St, Seattle
⏰ Open Thursday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
🎟 $9.99 – $17.99 | SAM Members and kids 14 and under get in free

big bug is living inside the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

If you walk through the grass behind the Seattle Asian Art Museum at night, you’ll see it: a massive, lit-up orange creature snaking its way through the museum’s glass-enclosed back hallway. This huge thing, called “The Buddhist Bug,” is over 300 feet long, and if you follow its wormy shape, you’ll discover it’s part of a significant new exhibit called Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence, running now until July.  

The Buddhist Bug” and its companion piece, “The Red Chador,” are two performance-based artworks that make up Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence. Both were created by Anida Yoeu Ali, a Tacoma-based interdisciplinary artist born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Her work often uses performance and photography to explore how art, spirituality, and politics intersect. 

With “The Buddhist Bug,” Ali has developed a bug character with skin that resembles the bright color worn by Buddhist monks, while the cloth wrapping the bug’s face resembles the hijab sometimes worn by Muslim women. An epic series of photographs by Masahiro Sugano accompanies the bug sculpture, showing her as she moves throughout Cambodia.

Next door to the bug, museumgoers will find photographs and objects from “The Red Chador,” an ongoing series of silent public performances that feature Ali wearing a glittering red chador, a large cloth worn by some Muslim women. 

YouTube video

Hybrid Skin, Mythical Presence marks Ali’s first exhibition at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, made even more notable because this is the first solo show for an artist since the museum reopened in 2020. It’s also the first solo show of a Cambodian American artist in the history of the Seattle Art Museum, which runs the Seattle Asian Art Museum. 

Ali and others will perform The Buddhist Bug on March 23rd and The Red Chador on June 1st, 2024, at the Seattle Art Museum’s locations around Seattle. For the most up-to-date information on planning a visit, including hours and admission, visit seattleartmuseum.org.

🗞 READ MORE: 300-foot ‘Buddhist Bug’ bringing buzz to Seattle Asian Art Museum

💌 Be Our Pen Pal! Find out what’s happening in Seattle by subscribing to our newsletter.

Author

Chase Burns

Chase Burns is The Ticket’s editor. As a reporter, he’s covered everything from gay luchadores to chemical weapons to Isabella Rossellini’s favorite pets. Right now he’s really into the fruit sandwiches at Baiten in Capitol Hill.