Mandalas, models and other cosmographs have the capacity to harness the torrent of images generated by modernity. My paintings, sculptures and interactive objects seek to align western contemporary art practice with the ages old ritual creation of objects for visual contemplation. Inside symmetrical compositions symbols, text and materials from multiple systems of knowledge collide.
Audiences can use their visual hyperliteracy, a skill of survival developed to navigate our image saturated culture, to move through the compositions creating personal constellations of meaning. These constellations are spaces of wonder(ing), spaces where competing ideologies can exist simultaneously and hints of new ways of being in the world coalesce. -EC
Zen and the West
A great number of scholars and monks have wanted to transplant Zen in Europe and America. Have these efforts proved successful? It remains to be seen. From the standpoint of knowledge, certain scholars... have contributed a great deal toward arousing the interest of Westerners in Zen Buddhism. Zen has influenced the thinking of theologians... and philosophers...
But Zen does not yet exist in the West as a living tradition. Many monks are teaching the practice of Zen there, but this practice still remains Oriental; foreign to Western culture. The fact is that Zen has not yet been able to find roots in this soil. Cultural, economic, and psychological conditions are different in the West. One cannot become a practitioner of Zen by imitating the way of eating, sitting, or dressing of the Chinese and Japanese practitioners.
Zen is life; Zen does not imitate. If Zen one day becomes a reality in the West, it will acquire a Western form, considerably different from Oriental Zen.
Thich Nhat Hanh - Zen Keys. Anchor Books, 1974. p.96
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