Forgotten Enso

IMG_9589.jpg
IMG_9589.jpg

Forgotten Enso

250.00

In Zen Buddhism, there is a calligraphic practice in which one paints a circle in one single, fluid motion. It is a difficult practice, but the final product is beautiful. The circle is called an ensō in Japanese, and in simple terms it can be taken as a symbol of infinity. It represents the "no-thing," the inclusion (or exclusion) of everything by way of nonduality.

In Chinese art, there exists the bi, a carved circular disc made of jade. These first showed up in the neolithic age more than four thousand years ago and are a symbol of heaven (tian). The meaning of "heaven" in the Chinese context varied and evolved greatly over thousands of years, but the more I study it, the more I come to take it as the naturalistic root of all things, which in my mind points back to that hand-drawn circle and nonduality.

When I found a forlorn light fixture under a shrub in Shanghai, I immediately saw its form relating to both the bi and the ensō. It represented something beautiful, and the way that nature had adorned it with the patina of dirt and the decoration of a twig had transformed it into something far more than what others might simply see as garbage. And that, for me, is really where this gets important. The way the human mind works, we see what we want to see. If you're determined the world is going straight to hell, you'll find evidence of it wherever you turn. On the other hand, if you pay attention, you'll also notice things like infinity lurking under a plant. 

Open edition, 12x12" (30x30cm) archival pigment print on baryta photo paper. Ships from Chicago, IL, USA. Produced by one of the best printers in the world, you won't find a better quality print anywhere.

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