This artwork was created in 2017. The artist is fascinated about the mysterious icons of Tibetan Buddhism, and created this animated piece of work using public collections from the Met. It all started with sun (three-legged bird) and moon (rabbit) rotating around the Mount Meru, the symbol for Indo-Himalayan cosmic diagram. The landscape vignettes at the cardinal directions represent the four continents of Indian mythology but follow the artistic conventions of Chinese-style “blue-and-green” landscapes. Then other three levels of illustration turn up gradually following the sun/moon movements. One shows Hevajra and his consort Nairatmya dance at the intersection of four vajra gateways. Hevajra’s name is composed of “he,” compassion, representing the male aspect, and “Vajra,” wisdom, the female aspect, which together offer the path beyond the illusory world. Others show Vajrabhairava, and six-armed goddess (devi), Jnanadakini.
It is said that the Mount Meru is incredibly enormous, as high as 1 million KM, while it is also tiny, contained in one seed. It seems to the artist that one is outside the Mount Meru, looking at day and night alternating, while the Mount Meru is actually inside one’s mind, the symbols of wisdom, mercy and strength reflected in one’s soul. As Whitman wrote in the poem, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself, quoted in the accompanying song, courtesy of Blue Tears Band, music by Shaolu Li.
The work is better viewed vertically.