Friday, 21 February 2014

Zen contemplation

In January I went up to London to visit the Pearls exhibition at the V&A, which was amazing and I'm dipping into the book of the same often, for inspiration. 
At the V&A there was also an in the garden area. Created by artist Xu Bing, the installation of huge rocks, water feature, atmospheric steam and a wonderful collection of ceramics, was pure delight to walk around.

To quote the V&A website, 'The John Madejski Garden is transformed into an ethereal utopia inspired by the classic Chinese fable Tao Hua Yuan (Peach Blossom Spring). Written by the scholar Tao Yuanming in 421AD, Tao Hua Yuan describes a land in which people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature unaware of the outside world. This dream-like landscape is created around the central water feature of the John Madejski Garden, built up from layers of thinly-cut stones collected from five different places in China. Clusters of ceramic houses, each one handmade and coloured to reflect different traditional styles, are placed among the stones. Modern elements such as small LCD screens with cartoon animations have also been introduced into the landscape to represent the co-existence of ancient and modern in contemporary China, and present everyday life. Lighting and mist also change the atmosphere of the installation depending on the time of day.'

To the unknowing visitor hurrying through the area in a light drizzle, slowing, peering more closely, then forgetting the rain... it was a delight. The shoal of ceramic fish, the many tiny figures dotted about the rocky landscape, the humour and simplicity... thank you Xu Bing.

Part of Xu Bing's amazing installation.