Chi-Hao Pai｜黑水 淨土 Black Water, The Pure Land
黑水 淨土 Black Water, The Pure Land
森 感覺實驗室— 白濟豪
sen sense lab— Chi-Hao Pai
Soil, bamboo charcoal powder
無私的人 People who are selfless
滴下的汗是黑色的 Sweat beads of black.
渡生的神 Gods who liberate all beings
流下的淚是黑色的 Shed tears of black.
自私的人 Those who are selfish
洗下的水也是黑色的 excrete blackness.
黑水 一來到地上 Black water, having fallen to the ground,
就伏著地一路爬向大海 Crawls towards the sea.
沾黏住路上所有的好 The good blends in.
也沾黏路上所有的壞 The bad blends in also.
爬過之處成了眾生的歸宿 The place where black water crawls becomes a home for all beings.
眾生得以棲身 They shelter here.
但條件是一旦你離開 But when they leave,
將會忘記怎麼歸來 they may not return.
停留的越久 The longer they stay
你的生命就越短 The shorter their life will be.
漸漸的無法舞動你的四肢 Slowly their limbs will turn numb
你將長駐在這 And they will remain forever.
長駐在這 Here is the place of permanence.
人們稱之為 淨土 We call it the Pure Land.
Let's meet Pai of sen sense lab from Taiwan, the artist of 2016 Guandu International Nature Art Festival!
Q: Please talk about your ideas for the on-going art work?
A: The main idea for my artwork this time is the "Pure Land," which also connotes "homeland" or "destination.”Rivers bring mud with nutrition, thus making a good habitat for birds. However, it is ironic that birds take wetlands as homelands yet they get weak because of the toxins in lands and rivers. So I keep the question in mind: "what does "Pure Land" mean to the birds?" I use clays as my material to create a river shape around the park, symbolizing the all-embracing nature of river. The clay river is toned black because I was inspired by the idea of Matzu's black face. Legend has it that Matzu's face turned black because of endless stream of pilgrims, or because She is too busy with saving lives. So I make this black river as a symbol to guard all the lives in this place.
Q: I heard you wanted to do an artwork about religious rituals at the beginning. Does this idea change through the initial process of field research?
A: At the beginning, my idea was to use plants to convey the meanings of some rituals. I even checked how the Ketagalans used reeds as symbol of purification. However, I was shocked by the talk about the plastic microbeads in the soil by the researcher from the Park while having our field research. The more I knew about Guandu, the stronger calling I felt from the soil. So I decided to create my artwork with clay. Another interesting thing: before this art project I dreamt of myself stuck in some black water. I struggled yet I couldn't escape. This dream reminded me of the seven-jewelled pond in Buddism. It is said that everyone will find a lotus flower with their own names in the pond after passing away. Maybe this coming work of soil and river is just like the lotus flower for me. It belongs to me as it is. I think rituals are ways to communicate with nature and spirits. While working in the woods, I noticed some plants and animals. By recognizing their characteristics, I learned to know them more. It is enjoyable to be with different lives. I therefore create my own rituals as I try to communicate with them.
Q: Many volunteers joined your artwork this time. How do you feel about working with volunteers?
A: My previous works were mainly arrangements of different plants. I used to enjoy doing art creation alone. It was good to be indulged in my own world. But I found it necessary to involve more people this time since I wanted to make a bigger work. During the process I've also learned to take care of the volunteers' needs. Besides, I've organized my thoughts about the work through explaining my ideas to the volunteers repeatedly. I hope the volunteers can have their own room to show their personality and skills during the production. They are like drops in the river. Each person has his/her own contribution to the whole picture.
Q: It seems a new experience for you to do a residency project like this. Do you also want to join some art projects abroad?
A: Not yet. I want to join more domestic art projects first, so as to know more about my homeland as the start.
s e n s e n s e l a b - 森 感覺實驗室
以古老祖先與大自然平衡共處的方式 － 採集
白濟豪 Chi-Hao Pai
1 9 8 7 年台北出生 2 0 1 5 創立 森 感覺實驗室
透過採集 觸摸自然 找尋並內化成為對生命的信仰
枯枝 骨骸 透過儀式性的影像 裝置
Born 1987 in Taipei. Founded sen sense lab in 2014.
For me art creation means a connection with self through reflections upon life.
Time therefore unfolds in my objects.
I always try to learn about my own land.
Through collecting, I touch nature, internalizing what I've seen into beliefs.
Through ceremonial images and installations, deadwood as well as bones speak and show emotions.
The land provides nutrition to nurture our souls, and we pay it back in our own ways.
Thus I keep experimenting, to find a way for my inner feelings.