The TEMPLE GATE series
In 1986, upon completion of my training with the masters at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, I embarked on a four-months, 18,000 miles pilgrimage throughout Tibet. This journey of personal and cultural exploration, 120 days wandering the snowy landscape, took me to the remotest corners of Shangrila, to the shimmering purples of the "Sacred Mountain" and the perfect clarity of the "Sacred Lake". At journey's end, I entered Lasha, and saw the Potala Palace bathed in moonlight, the monks' butter lamps shining from the Great Within. Face to face with the 999 windows and doorways of the Potala, I became suddenly aware of the deep meaning of Temple Gate in Asian religious cosmology. The inspiration for this series crystallized there.
My new realization about Temple Gates led me to see them as far more than elegant signposts or boundary markers framing sacred territory. They are (in my mind' eye) the physical embodiment of the ancient Chinese Yin- Yang philosophy: Yin representing the quiet, meditative emptiness of the moon; Yang symbolizing the dynamic energy potential eminating from the sun. TEMPLE GATES seeks to convey both the peacefulness of burning incense and monastic silence, and at the same time, the power of the temple bell and the movement of candlelight radiating from the prayer hall. It is an extension of sun-moon harmony, a pivotal harmonic of the universe.
TEMPLE GATES is a mixed medium work composed of silk, paper, bamboo, good leaf, twine, and vivid "stone colors", which is the Chinese term for individual paint emulsions made up of watercolor, acrylic, and oil mixtures.
TEMPLE GATE is but one aspect of my art, but I look upon their creation as a life - long project. After all, there are 999 apertures in the Potala, and countless portals before the untold shrines wherever there is Eastern culture.