Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche in Toronto burns The Buddha Live for the First Time

Performed as a successful video installation in Phnom Penh, Nuit Blanche marks the first time The Burning Buddha will burn in public display, beginning at 6:57 p.m. and continuing each hour until dawn, for 7 minutes. Visually elegiac video promoting human rights and heat that is generated by the art will drive home the message of The Buddha.

Toronto, Canada, September 23, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio / 1888PressRelease) - THE BURNING BUDDHA demonstrates the pure power of artists Blake's performance art to bring oppression closer to public consciousness at NUIT BLANCHE, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2010 at THE DISTILLERY MARKET PATIO, 55 MILL ST. at PARLIAMENT, TORONTO.

BLAKE employs haunting figurative sculpture in the form of a ¼ scale Tibetan nun to focus the dialogue of rights issues and remind us that progress comes from individuals recognizing their rights and sacrificing all for their beliefs. The Burning Buddha demands contemplation of human rights and those who gave their lives to bring abuses to our attention. From the Buddhist monks to the handful of Americans who set themselves aflame to protest the Vietnam War, self-annihilation is a form of illegitimate political action that becomes legitimate by its execution. The artist does not encourage such actions. His work evokes consideration for the scale and solitude of this form of protest, paying tribute to those who died and touching both the political aspect of human culture as well as the spiritual side of humanity.

"My objective is to use these beautiful forms and powerful images to bring attention to the need for us to claim our human rights," says Blake about the often controversial, sometime censored work.
"I'd like people to see the Buddha as a beacon of hope."

The artist Blake was born Blake William Ward in Yellowknife, North West Territories in 1956 and raised in Edmonton. With an Honours Degree in Fine Art from the University of Alberta, he moved to Paris to study figurative sculpture. In 1991, he moved to Monaco and opened the Monte-Carlo studio. Blake works in clay to produce bronze and marble sculpture that are cast or carved in Italy. There are more than 60 different sculptures that are grouped under three themes. Traditional Figurative sculpture explores notions of idealized beauty. The Fragments series of work is dedicated to landmine clearance in several post-war nations. The Re-Think collection is dedicated to the promotion of human rights. Blake's contribution of 30% of the proceeds from shows, has, since 2007, raised more than $ 200,000.00 for landmine clearance and survivor support through the UN Association's Adopt-A-Minefield. Ward has also funded mine clearance in Vietnam, Kosovo and Angola through No More Landmines Trust and funded Mine Rise Education in Afghanistan through the Canadian Landmine Foundation.

Blake is represented worldwide by Kehrig Fine Arts, Toronto.