Koan is the possibility to open up the territory of pre-verbal. As human beings, our reality based on symbolic matrix, so all possibility of our thoughts and wisdom be covered and limited by signifying chain. Only vision as a product of the non-material is closer to a concept of purity, so through photography as my own philosophical approach, I try to explore beneath the surface of things by simplification and abstraction to awaken spiritual awareness and intuition before the symbolic.

As Eastern philosophies, Tao and Zen always advise people to stay absolutely quiet and purify thought processes. In order to achieve this goal, our attention should focus on the most basic form of the universe’s existence. In Zen Buddhism, Koan is a story or riddle used to help in the attainment of a state of spontaneous reflection, free from planning and analytical thought. In contradiction to Western philosophy, Koan’s emphasize the inadequacy of language and words, and the importance of intuition over reason and logic, to transform the self.

I named the series as “Koan”, and selected abstract landscape photographs to do photo-etching process; the results of this craft are poetic and full of imaginations. Also only uses black ink and print on different Japanese papers, the color is deriving from the atmosphere of desolation and melancholy and the expression of minimalism in ancient Chinese poetry and monochromatic ink painting.

KOAN, 意味着打坐沉思以简单不合逻辑的问题使思想脱离理性的范畴,去试图接近即便是永无法抵达的前语言领域。作为人类的存在,我们体验的日常现实都基于一个以语言为媒介而形成意识形态符号矩阵中,因此我们智慧所及的可能性边界,都被这系统生成的符号链条所覆盖并框限。唯有视觉,作为一种非物质的产物而更接近于纯粹的概念。



*Koan 心印;以心傳心


All images and texts copyrights © 2013-2017 Xiaoyi Chen