Tashi Norbu in front of his wooden sculpture “Urban Buddha,” which sits on the grounds of ReUse Depot in Maywood. On Tuesday, it will be installed in Chicago’s Grant Park. | Michael Romain/VFP
Monday, October 17, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 10/17/16
A giant sculpture made of reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St., in Maywood will be headed to Grant Park in downtown Chicago on Wednesday.
The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was created by Tibetan-born contemporary artist Tashi Norbu, who splits his time between the United States and the Netherlands.
Norbu said he created the work of art as a social statement on numerous global crises, such as deforestation and global warming.
“Deforestation from palm oil production is unbelievable nowadays,” Norbu said during an interview last Sunday. “The Chinese are doing the same thing everywhere in the world.”
“The message is for us to be the flower, not the bee,” Norbu said. “We have to be like the flower that grows beautifully by itself and you don’t have to look for something that the bee does.
“If you’re a good flower, the bee comes. If you’re a flower, you don’t have to go anywhere to look for happiness. You are yourself happy. You build yourself within.”
Norbu said that on Tuesday, the gigantic artwork will be transported to Grant Park by truck. It will require maintenance every six months, he said.
During his time in Maywood, the artist has left his mark on more than the physical landscape. He’s also left quite the impression on Gordon Hanson’s chess club, which meets weekly at the Maywood Public Library.
“He’s teaching us Buddhist chess,” Hanson said. “The purpose of the game of chess is to put the king in checkmate. The young kids want to kill all the other pieces — the pawns, knights, rooks, the bishop and the queen.
“Not that you shouldn’t do that, but [Norbu] says you should go the more peaceful path of checkmate and if it means taking the queen or pawn, fine, but it shouldn’t be about the American mental attitude of killing all the pieces.” VFP