Artist and former Buddhist monk Andrew Binkley explores “A Space Between” in Hawaii museum installation

Shambhala Sunspace
April 14, 2014

Photography collage from the "Just Being" series.

There was a point at which American artist Andrew Binkley had had it with school and set off for China to explore Ch’an Buddhism. A year’s immersion in the art and philosophy of that culture moved him to dive even deeper and off he went to Thailand where he spent two years as a Theravadan monk in the strict, meditative Thai Forest tradition. Such experiences now infuse Binkley’s full-time artist life in a home he designed and built in Maui, Hawaii, and his regular journeys back to Guangzhou, China.

This spring, Honolulu residents and visitors can participate in Binkley’s contemplative installation work, A Space Between, while he is artist-in-residence at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Spalding House. Binkley’s m.o. might seem a bit odd at first—identifying cracks in the pavement surface outside the gallery, then painting them gold—until one discovers the inspiration:

“The project is rooted in the ancient Japanese art form of kintsugi (golden joinery), where if a treasured tea bowl breaks, rather than throwing it away, the pieces are mended back together and the remaining fracture is dusted with gold. The act of doing this highlights the cracks and transforms it from being a rejected trace of the ‘imperfect’ and the ephemeral, to a mark that is accepted, appreciated, and cherished.”

 

"Catching the Ox" from the ten ox herding pictures.

You can see more of Binkley’s dharma-influenced artwork here, including his creation through altered photographs of Ch’an Buddhism’s classic “ten ox herding pictures,” and explore the ways in which he says his work “acts as a reflection on the relationship of cause and effect and our own relationship with conditions arising and passing away.”

Visit here for more information about Binkley’s A Space Between installation, which will unfold now through May 18.

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