In a complex conceptual combination of traditional and contemporary, Xie Ai Ge’s ‘Squat’ depicts a figure with an expression of serene happiness, squatting ethereally in mid-air at the top of a mountain. Highly symbolic in every aspect, the sculptor’s incorporation of a mountain is spiritually themed, alluding to the sacred significance of mountains in Buddhism. The figure is positioned in a manner similar to stances often used in the depiction of Buddha himself, with the bowl held in his hand proving a direct relation of imagery. However, the contemporary twist is placed in the nuances of the figure and his positioning, showing him as a contemporary or relatively modern individual by dress and appearance, with a stance echoing similar modern sensibilities. Both the physical contours as well as the reflections of Buddhism create a presence of meditative ease, with the man’s positioning at the top of the mountain further cementing the ascent of spiritual liberation conveyed by the sculpture.
She shows that “even the stillest pose can touch us deeply".