Medium: Wax, copper wire, and Plexiglas
Dimension: dimensions variable
This work is made of approximately one thousand little wax cast Buddhas. This idea came from the common practice of wearing Buddha on the chest in Chinese culture. People hope it will protect them from bad luck and evil.
I am involved with the Buddhism concept not only because it is my cultural heritage but also because I feel Buddhism can be a convincing frame of reference to discuss the spiritual in art. Buddhism and art both involve in the physical manifestation of the spiritual world, that through the physical world you have spiritual life. The concept of meditation or reflection, which is focused on process, direct experience or awareness of the present, is clearly represented by this work through the meditative and revelatory process.
The Bodhisattva I repeated in this work is called Guanyin. In India Buddhism, Guanyin is male, but when Buddhism came into China 2,000 years ago, Guanyin became female in Chinese Buddhism. Some scholars suggest that it may have been influenced by the Christian belief of Virgin Mary. Guanyin is a Bodhisattva of compassion, a similar character to the Virgin Mary. I used Guanyin because this iconography carries with it the early confluence of Western and Eastern cultures.
The quality of the wax is enhanced by the displacement of a light box. The translucent quality refers to jade and draws inspiration from the ancient Chinese “Jade Clothes Sewn with Gold Thread”. The light also represents the emitting of energy—the centuries-old Chinese heritage. In this work, the notion of dress, ethnic status, and artistic value collide.