29 June 2013

"Ten Thousand Bridges" is Approved for Exhibition in Bangkok this September

I'm excited to report that AKSHA's first public art project has received approval from the management of Suan Rotfi, a large park in northern Bangkok that is home to the Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives.

The exhibit opens Sunday, September 1, 2013 and will feature a site-specific installation that involves a 150 meter-long "bridge" that links the Avalokitesvara statue in BIA's courtyard with the Nalikae coconut tree on an island in the middle of the lake.

It is inspired by a traditional lullaby from Southern Thailand used by Buddhadasa Bhikku in his teachings. (Here is the current English translation.)

Those familiar with Buddhist teachings will find deep significance in its lines, which may have roots in Sri Vijaya, a Vajrayana kingdom that flourished Southern Thailand during the 5th to 13th Centuries.

Unknown to most visitors of the three-year-old center, the lullaby also served as the basis of the building's architecture.

So I expanded the song into a children's story called "The Nalikae Tree" which I hope will help to unfold the lullaby for modern audiences. (This text will be available in my next post.)

While the "Bridge" will only be up for the 5-week exhibition, we will leave a permanent sculpture on the island itself: 4 spheres which also emerge from the "The Nalikae Tree" story.

Those who've been following AKSHA's progress may be familiar with these beads... representing Luminous Abundance, Luminous Space, Luminous Ground and Transcendence (right to left). In essence, the jewelry we created are miniature replicas of the beads in the children's story and the sculpture at BIA.

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Thanks, appreciate the mindful comment! - Minette