River of Dhamma
Process and concept are at the touchstone of my work. I paint with historical pigments used in fresco paintings during the Italian Renaissance. For example, these colors can be seen in the Sistine Chapel. I hand make water based paints from organic pigments imported from Italy, France, Cypress, Spain, German, Poland, and England. The connection to European art making process is important to me. I was inspired by Italian frescoes and architecture ever since I visited Italy, particularly Florence. In addition, these pigments are environmentally friendly, they are non toxic.
I enjoy taking a simple idea and exploring it to the fullest. I used a limited palette to produce 23 permutations based on the same pattern. The formal aspects involve the push and pull of translucent, semi translucent, and opaque brush strokes. The texture arises from the natural properties of the pigments. Some of the pigments behave like clay or have mica in them. I fully allow the properties of the material to manifest itself on the watercolor paper. I allow “happy accidents” to occur during the process.
Conceptually, the installation documents my insight meditation practice. Half of these pieces were created while listening to audio dharma given by world renown mediation masters. The stripes represent the rhythm of my breathing, mindfulness and state of awareness during the meditation sessions. Each piece represents a stream that merges to form a river. Thus, the installation is called the “River of Dharma” which is a metaphor for “stream entry.”
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