Manifesting the Buddhist concept of Emptiness

 

Charwei Tsai

Born in Taipei, 1980, Charwei Tsai currently lives and works in Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in Industrial Design and Art & Architectural History (2002), and the postgraduate research program La Seine at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2010). Highly personal yet universal concerns spur Tsai’s multi-media practice. Geographical, social, and spiritual motifs inform a body of work, which encourages viewer participation outside the confines of complacent contemplation. Preoccupied with the human/nature relationship, Tsai meditates on the complexities among cultural beliefs, spirituality, and transience.

蔡佳葳

蔡佳葳,1980年生於臺北,現工作居住於台北和胡志明市(西貢)。她於2002年取得羅德島設計學院工業設計、美術與建築史藝術學士,2010年完成國立巴黎高等美術學院−賽納河計劃。蔡佳葳在多媒材實踐中關注個人化且普世的議題。地理、社會和靈性等母題貫穿其一系列作品之中,這些作品鼓勵觀眾跳出自我滿足式的沈思,參與其中。專注人與自然關係的蔡佳葳,思考著文化信仰、靈性和瞬變之間的複雜性。

 

Spiral Incense Mantra

2014

Installation of hand-inscribed spiral incenses

150cm each

The Heart Sutra is inscribed on spiral incenses, commonly seen in traditional Buddhist temples in Asia. The incenses for this installation are custom-made by a family-owned incense factory, currently run by the third generation in Tainan, one of the oldest regions in the south of Taiwan. These scripted large spiral incenses are lit during the duration of the exhibition, and gradually transformed into smoke and ashes, manifesting the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

PICTURE 1 In the mood for Art

Incense Mantra I~IV

2013

4 Photographs, 66x150cm

In collaboration with Tsering Tashi Gyalthang

This series of 4 black and white photographs was inspired by the history of Hong Kong as the “Fragrant Harbor” based on its large production of incense from locally grown sandalwood. (“Hong” means fragrant in the local Cantonese dialect and “Kong” means harbor.) For this project, Tsai sourced a large piece of incense from a local store on Queen’s Road West, an area in Hong Kong known for its sales of objects for religious and ceremonial offerings, and wrote the Heart Sutra in Chinese calligraphy on it. The sutra is a Buddhist text that Tsai has memorized as a child and is a seminal text on the concept of impermanence. She then lit the incense on a mirror reflecting the sky as an offering to the city. The work encourages a moment of contemplation on the spiritual significance of the sacred text while the physical form of the text transforms into ashes and smoke revealing the backdrop of the city’s celebrated skyline. Through the opportunity of working within a local context in Hong Kong, Tsai expands on her exploration of making works of art as objects of meditation and tools for spiritual and social practice.

Special thanks to Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, Jenny Lee, Allen Lin, Emily Chiang, Lesley Ma, Floria Wun, Edouard Malingue Gallery, TKG+, Asia Society Hong Kong

 

香咒 IIV

2013

相片,各66x150cm

與茨仁.扎西.建塘(Tsering Tashi Gyalthang)合作

這系列作品包含4張以焚燒線香為主題的黑白照片和一支錄像,靈感來自於香港的歷史與它的別稱「香江」,因香港以出產檀香聞名,「香」指芳香之義而「港」是海港的意思。為了此系列作品,蔡佳葳於香港人平日購買宗教用品的中環皇后大道西取得一大塊檀香,在檀香上以書法的方式刻寫《般若波羅密多心經》。蔡佳葳自小便熟記佛教《心經》,經文探討無常的概念,她將刻寫《心經》的香點燃,置放在一面映照天空的鏡子上,獻祭給香港這座城市。此作品藉由燃燒有形的檀香,將有形幻化為無形的同時,鏡子顯現出香港城市的天際線,引發人們冥想神聖經文背後的意義。藉由就地取材的創作方式,蔡佳葳將她對於創作的探索延伸為精神性的冥想工具,藉以實踐更多精神上與社會性的啓發。

特別感謝:茨仁.扎西.建塘(Tsering Tashi Gyalthang)、李晏禎、Allen Lin、Emily Chiang、馬唯中、Floria Wun、馬凌畫廊、TKG+、亞洲協會香港中心

PICTURE 2 In the mood for Art

More of Charwei Tsai work : www.charwei.com