What’s Zen Got to Do With It? Pace HK Explores Buddhism in Art


Hiroshi Sugimoto, “Sea of Buddha 001, 002, 003,” 1995, Photo gelatin silver print, 119.4 x 149.2 cm, three prints each (Courtesy the artist and Pace HK)

Blouin Art Info, BY CLAIRE BOUCHARA | OCTOBER 03, 2016

Pace Hong Kong presents the work of five Asian artists from China and Japan, exploring the influence of Zen thought on the visual language of contemporary art.

The title of the exhibition, “Where Can The Dust Alight,” is a Buddhist saying, embodying Zen thoughts related to “emptiness” and “nothingness” — the core philosophical ideas of Zen Buddhism. The exhibition runs through November 12.

Hong Hao, Liu Jianhua, Song Dong, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Zhang Huan showcase paintings and installations exploring how Asian contemporary art interprets Zen thought through “new definitions of meditative experience and the transformation of the role of the self in art.” Each artist appropriates various symbols or rituals from Eastern religions and philosophies into their artwork to also enquire whether Zen ideas impact conceptual Asian art practices.

Famed Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto presents a series of works repetitively featuring the scene of 1000 Avalokiteshvara Buddha statues in a temple in Kyoto. In this work, the artist draws from the influences behind Buddhist sculptures. Meanwhile, Zhang Huan takes inspiration from the Tibetan religion and culture in his oil painting “Spring Poppy Fields No.24,” which results in a dramatic expression of chaos and illusion.

Acclaimed performance artist Song Dong looks into Buddhist Mandala rituals in “Mandala.” The ritual involves monks carefully drawing designs using crushed gems, only to brush them away and return to a state of emptiness.

Renowned for his porcelain craftsmanship, Liu Jianhua shows conceptual work created with his porcelain pieces, including the “Untitled 2012” series comprising cloudy blue porcelain plates and cobalt glaze.

“Where Can The Dust Alight” runs through November 12 at Pace, Hong Kong.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.