Mind-In-Making


Monologue of Ice, 24 Hours, by Atta Kim

This is a follow on to my earlier post about Grain of Emptiness at the Rubin Museum, a show that features works by artists who have been influenced and inspired by Buddhism.

From the catalog introduction by Mary Jane Jacob:

To make the most of experience and have it be transformative in positive ways, we need to cultivate presence of mind. The presence of mind….not only erupts in the conception of an idea for a work of art but also…is sustained throughout the act of making. The very act of doing cultivates the mind, and not “on some kind of theoretical level”…thus, the process of making is the art as well as the final result, the experience of doing is part of the whole: means and end are one flowing together…

So there is the need on the part of these artists to get the most out of the doing, the fullest experience. This phenomenon is achieved when “your interior and your exterior meet”…then the mind-in-making, being full present in the experience of the process, gives to the work of art its presence, too. It is this quality that draws us into a work that first was a revelation for the artist as it emerged from a process of creative inquiry. At that point the work of art “has its own energy”; “those are the real power objects.”

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5 comments

  1. Maureen’s avatar

    Great quotes!

    The image of Kim’s work is stunning.

  2. Altoon’s avatar

    Thanks for this beautiful quote. I have recently felt strongly tied to the idea of “paying attention” in all parts of my life and especially in the sensuous process of picture making.

  3. Deborah Barlow’s avatar

    Thanks Maureen. We usually agree on these things!

    Altoon, it is like a daily mantra, isn’t it? Sounds so simple, paying attention. But I struggle with it, get distracted, lose sight of the importance of being aware, awake, in the moment. Thanks for your comment.

  4. d i a n a’s avatar

    Oh, I’m so glad I dropped in just now.

    The notion of a work of art being endowed with its own energy – having been born of the “meeting” of the artist’s interior and exterior – how beautiful. It’s all process, isn’t it?

  5. freesamplesuk’s avatar

    A process it most certainly is, with spectacular results . . .

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