Reclaimed Steel, Copper Wire, Stoneware
This immersive sculptural work explores the creator/artist from a spiritual perspective in conversation with the Tao Te Ching – creation witnessing itself through the body of the human, the artist. Different elements of a body are presented and arranged symbolically as a contemplative space which audiences are invited to enter.
This semester I engaged myself in the process of creating a large self-directed sculptural work for two of my classes, the Annex: Interdisciplinary Studio as well as a welding independent project. The form of this structure is a large otherworldly body of a creature which mimics human forms. I was inspired to create this work by my experience in another class, Daoism Through Texts, Talks, and Taijiquan. Learning Tai Chi for the first time and becoming familiar with the Daoist philosophical concepts of life flow of chi in the human body, I was especially excited by the Daoists frameworks for understanding the meaning of embodiment. As an artist, embodiment is a very fruitful concept to me, and through my work in the welding studio I began to view embodiment as a means to understanding. This led me to create my title both for this paper and my art piece: Embodiment as Understanding.
From this idea I became interested in the purpose of wordlessness. From my own experiences in meditation I recognized that in order to truly understand life one must release the mind’s compulsion to name and organize and instead embrace the world in its unfiltered natural form. When reading the Tao Te Ching as well as the Complete Works of Zhuangzi I found these ideas echoed and expanded and this excited me and continued to fuel my artistic theories as well.