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Heroes and villains - Nirvana _ escaping from obsessions

Updated: Jan 23, 2018



無所有(nonpossession) - Monk Bubjung

After the monsoon last summer, I went for a walk to meet someone. There were a beautiful sunshine and bugs were singing in the forest in the afternoon.

Ah! I suddenly realised that I left my orchid pot out side the garden under the sun. I resented the innocent sun. I couldn't delay any longer as I couldn't stop thinking about the orchid. So I had to run back to the temple to see how it is. Sure enough, the leaves looked saggy and didn't look fresh any more.

Then I realised, with my whole body and my heart, that obsession is anguish. I had been too much obsessed with taking care of the beautiful orchid. Few days later, I gave it to my friend who is quiet as an orchid. I finally escaped from that obsession. I felt free as a bird even though I had been with the orchid for three years. After that day, I decided to get rid of one of my possession a day.


This is one of the famous story in a book about non-possession written by monk Bubjung in Korea. He passed away a while ago but I still listen a lots of his speech in youtube. He used to feel possession is a sin and tried to keep him self in the state of zen.

This project was thinking about our heroes and villains. I looked through what are the meanings of them. And researched how it is different with different perspectives.



Heroes and villains in different perspectives


I was a Christian for two years and had a few really uncomfortable moments in the church including all those black and white logics. I recently got into Buddhism because I got sick of my greed and hot-tempered character. The one who suffers was always me. And also the Sun and Ak in Buddhism are always relative and realistic.


It attaches great importance to be neutral mind which is known as "Zen". But every time you feel something not neutral, you need to control your mind saying to your self "I'm feeling this way" not just express how you feel. Being peaceful and happy is the most important.




I normally calm my self watching the sea but I also fear the ocean at the same time because it is too big and I am so small compared to it. I often feel all those struggles are so meaningless seeing the powerful nature. So I made a series of paintings which feel chill, natural and peaceful.



Video version (sound)





This is my favourite piece among all of them. It could be me wanting the both of the vain glories(Stars) and nirvana(moon)

This project has been great to research more about Buddhism because I did not really get to know more about it even though I was into the brief concept of it. Moreover, it paved the way for the style of my art.


그러나 봄이 일찍 온다고 더 오래 봄을 누리는 것은 아니다. 봄이 봄인것을, 꽃이 꽃인것을..


However, you don’t get to bask spring longer just because the spring comes earlier. Spring is just spring, flowers are just flowers..

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