I really appreciate how the Rubin Museum is always experimenting with the way people interact with art. The Himalayan art museum recently held a “dream-0ver,” where people slept in front of works of art following meditation. In March, we stopped by the museum when they were having another all night event. A sculpture of a Buddha carved from ice was melting in the atrium, and we got there early enough that it was still mostly sculpturally intact, but glistening with the beginnings of its transformation into water.
The Ice Buddha was conceived by artist Atta Kim and weighed about 1,300 pounds (!). It was on view until it completely melted, starting Friday as the museum stayed open all night and continuing through the weekend, disappearing as a sculpture into a pool of water.
Visitors were encouraged the touch the Buddha and take away some of the melted water in provided glass vials. The artist had asked that it be used to water a plant, continuing the Buddha’s life cycle. I think it’s a beautiful idea, and I watered one of my kitchen plants with the Ice Buddha runoff, shown below: