Seeing Mountain as Mountain
Hand-crafted glass, lights, ink pool, infrared sensor, sound system
November 18, 2017 - January 19, 2018
Collaborator and creative technology director: Guillermo Acevedo
A series of handcrafted glass pieces hang in the gallery space in an abstract cloud formation, while brightening and dimming lights on the glass cast changing shadows on the gallery walls. Below the glass lies a reflecting pool filled with Chinese ink. When viewed from a certain point, the chandelier’s reflection in the ink aligns to reveal mountain forms, evoking a landscape painting rendered through illusion. Drops of ink fall from the ceiling, disrupting the reflected image, and their sound reverberates through the space.
This work is a visual, aural and olfactory interpretation of a well-known Zen koan, in which the inherent nature of a mountain is observed, questioned, and finally, understood and accepted. Using sight, sound and smell to create a multi-dimensional installation, the work engages the audience’s senses and stimulates the imagination into observing a mountain range that is abstract, ancient, futuristic, underwater, outer space or imaginary. Whether or not the viewer even sees the mountain at all depends on his or her state of mind.
This work is a continuation of the artist’s exploration into the examination of traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy, extracting, exploring and extending these core elements within a contemporary discourse without being bound by the formal restraints of tradition.