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Buddhadharma : Spring 2012
SPRING 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 81 The black figures surrounding the image of the Red Spirit are quite provocative. I noticed one pointing a gun, some falling from the sky, some standing triumphant, and a photogra- pher taking photos of it all. What do these black figures represent? I get my news and information through public radio, internet and other social media. While we cannot physically experience all the occurrences that come to us daily in the form of words and images, they definitely leave an imprint. As I go about my day-to-day activities, these things remain like shadow images in the back of my mind. The silhouettes in the painting represent these images and snippets of memories from my everyday life. Can you explain the red color dripping off the spirit’s shoulders and the contrasting pink and red skin tones? Two Spirits, 2010 Gouache, acrylic and gold leaf on paper 26x43" We tend to identify an object or person through their appearance and physical form. This is an attempt to express the transformation of the spirit’s identity. Depending on a viewer’s per- spective, it could be that the spirit is transform- ing from a nonhuman (a celestial being) into a human form, or it could be the other way around. What is the relationship between your art and your Buddhist practice? For me the practice of Buddhism is about being aware of my thoughts, actions, and speech. I like to think of my work as a medium through which I engage with the personal, political, and social issues that surround us. My art allows me to analyze and contemplate these issues and situations, as well as my own reaction to it. In doing so, I become part of a social dialogue without limiting myself to any one group. I find this very rewarding.