space, place & void

 

Japanese culture and design has within it deeply intuitive and complex understandings of Nature and Life. During my time in Japan I was mesmerised by spaces made for reflection and stillness. Zen gardens, temples and most of the modern art on Naoshima Island provided spatially aware platforms to transcend the ego and ‘pause’ from life. It is this momentary bypass that I became fascinated in.

‘Ma’ is concept of space, and all that occurs within it, metaphysically, physically, socially and in time. It is an atmosphere, an energy or an identity of place. It is the pauses between words or actions that imbue more meaning in the process. It can refer to a moment where the conscious thought is transcended and the unconscious acts purely. In art and design, it is about form and balance, an acknowledgement of the fact that negative and positive space are both equally significant. The oppositions create a balance to become a unified substance. This idea is pertinent to Nature and Life and is a prominent teaching in the Zen Buddhist school of thought.

‘Space, Place & Void’ is a series of celestial encapsulations of distinct ‘Ma’ moments. The blue circle is a diffusion of atmosphere, the expression of light filtering gently through texture. It emanates the essence of the Moon. The central circle represents the void, ‘ku’, a Buddhist concept which leads to the experience of oneness. The gold circle portrays the unconscious flow state. It alludes to the Enso, a calligraphic circle drawn when the mind is free to let the body create.

With subtleties of colour, texture and form the installation inspires the viewer to step closer and be still. By doing so the viewer may become more aware of their breathing and the space around them. They take a pause for reflection and openness.  

Click here if you'd like to read more reflections about Japanese culture.