Three Heads Six Arms

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Three Heads Six Arms
Three Heads Six Arms.jpg
The sculpture in Hong Kong in 2011
Artist Zhang Huan
Type Sculpture
Medium Copper, steel
Location San Francisco, California

Three Heads Six Arms is a sculpture by Chinese artist Zhang Huan. The work, composed of copper and steel, is 27 feet tall and weighs 15 tons.[1][2][3] From May 2010 to February 2011, the sculpture was installed at the Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Plaza in San Francisco's Civic Center.

Standing over 26 feet tall and weighing almost 15 tons, the copper sculpture is the artist's largest work to date. Three Heads Six Arms is part of an important series of monumental works depicting the arms, legs, feet, hands, and heads of Buddhist sculptures.[4]


The series was inspired by the artist's experience seeing remnants of religious sculptures that had been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution for sale in a Tibetan market. Zhang, who is based in Shanghai, is widely regarded as one of the most influential and provocative contemporary artists working today. Three Heads Six Arms, courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, New York, was on loan for ten months. The artist chose San Francisco as the ideal setting to debut his sculpture, in part, because of the long-standing history being honored between Shanghai and San Francisco during the 2010 Sister-city Celebration. The sister-city relationship between Shanghai and San Francisco is the oldest sister-city relationship between the United States and China. The sculpture's installation also coincided with the 2010 World Expo hosted by Shanghai. The Arts Commission collaborated with the Asian Art Museum on a public program featuring a conversation between Zhang Huan and the Museum's Michael Knight, senior curator of Chinese art and deputy director of strategic programs and partnerships. The sculpture complimented the Museum's Shanghai exhibition, which was one of the cornerstones of the sister-city anniversary celebration.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Three Heads Six Arms: May 6, 2010". San Francisco Chronicle. May 6, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kwong, Jessica (February 14, 2011). "'Three Heads Six Arms' to go home". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Arts Commission Announces World Premiere of Zhang Huan's Colossal "Three Heads Six Arms"". San Francisco Arts Commission. April 14, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b