The Crossings 渡 is a 3D mapping projection project on a concrete landscape sculpture that merged my whole body, with projection of seasons changing animation that represents the changes happen in life.
Inspired by the ancient Chinese landscape painting shown on the left, Awaiting the Ferry at an Autumn Riverbank by Sheng Mao (fl. ca. 1310–1360). The painting uses the “two part” technique that is commonly used in landscape paintings, a wildy-growing tree on a mountain rock in the front, in the top there is a distant mountain that disappearing into the mist, in between there runs a wide river, the artist deliberately chose not to describe the river, so the river seems endlessly wide. But only when look carefully can you find two human figure, an elder master with his young student siting on the rock, waiting for the ferry afar. Their existence in the painting is almost ignorable compared to the significant wide nature world. Instead of showing the two at their final destination, Sheng Mao decided to paint them at this peaceful moment of waiting. While they are on the shore waiting, eight hundreds of years has past.
If the life itself is like journey getting across the deep and wide river to that ideal mountains afar, the moment of waiting is more memorable personally. In Buddhism there metaphor for life is “sailing across the sea of bitterness “ (渡苦海). The body itself is the medium for all the feelings and sensations we have.
This work is a visual, aural and olfactory interpretation of the Buddhist concept of pains and relief in the journey of life. Using the technique of 3D scanning, my own body was captured, broke down and deformed into the shape of landscape. The 3D model was used to generate physical simulation animation to represent four seasons, using different color, form and dynamic to stimulates the audience’s imagination that is abstract, ancient, futuristic and poetic.
This work is a continuation of my own exploration into the examination of traditional Chinese aesthetic and philosophy, by extracting, exploring and extending the core elements within a contemporary discourse without being bound by the formal restraints of tradition.
For presentation video, check my blog.
Zazen on Ching-t’ing Mountain
The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
The making of the Crossings 渡.