CHAJI / 茶寂
Part of Lam Wong’s Cha He / Tea Harmony residency
Opening celebration: Friday, September 13, 2019 | 5:30 pm-6:30 pm (during the 2019 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival)
Cha (茶) in Chinese is Tea. Ji (寂) is a more complex word to translate: solitude; a deep appreciation for beauty, subjected to impermanence or the empty nature of time; tranquility with its hints of sadness, presence and awareness. This is the final stage, the Nirvana of a tea life. With the acute awareness of the present moment and understanding the true nature of time, Ji is the mind state of appreciating beauty in solitude, a kind of joy-sadness tranquility. Within Tea, it carries this beauty and spirit, and it seems to be amplified in silence. In essence, Tea is the appreciation of beauty in simple things. A kind of preparation for the aesthetic of silence. Tea is deep peace – and when the deep inner peace arrives, the world can be very beautiful.
For artist Lam Wong, the first pillar of tea philosophy starts with Respect (敬): respect towards Tea, to the tea makers, the guests, and to nature. With great respect in mind, he invited four established artists — his father Don Wong, Arthur Cheng, Bryan Mulvihill, and Chick Rice — to join him in the Chaji / 茶寂 exhibition. The exhibition will also feature the works of John Cage, an influential and illuminating American artist/composer. The artists are all masterful in their art practice, and have all in various ways been inspired by Tea or Eastern philosophy, especially Buddhism and Zen.
Chaji / 茶寂 is the first exhibition in Lam Wong’s year-long Artist Residency at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
About the Artists
Born in Nanchang, China, Cheng established his reputation as an outstanding artist in Beijing. He has won many awards with distinction, and in 1985, was included in the British Who’s Who. His versatile works include extensive garden and park designs in Shanghai, his bronze and marble sculptures and monuments winning him many prestigious awards from the Shanghai Arts Festival.
Bryan Mulvihill is a visual artist, working in social sculpture and calligraphy. His ‘Calligraffiti’ pay homage to the ‘cut-up’ and ‘permutation’ processes passed on by Brion Gysin, who explored these techniques as a method to free the word. In his Calligraffiti, Bryan applies permutations to Zen Koan (expressions of enlightened states of mind). The goals of permutation and Zen art are similar: to free the mind from preconceived ideas into a state of open awareness. Calligraffiti may look abstract, but is in fact loaded with meaning and context.
Artist, photographer, educator. Born in Macau, raised and educated in Canada. University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Asian Studies minor. Emily Carr College of Art + Design photography graduate. Banff School of Fine Arts Photography Master Class and National Film Board Film Studio D Directors’ Workshop. Taught a quarter century at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Exhibited in North America and Europe, published worldwide.
Don Wong is a Master Chinese Calligrapher from Anxi, China. Born in a family that has been growing and making tea for many generations, Don has dedicated his life to practicing the arts of tea and calligraphy. Don’s cursive script is fluid, with well-controlled brush strength, full of drama and spirit. His work has been exhibited in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and collected all over the world.
John Cage (1912 – 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was a leading figure of the post-war avant-garde movement. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was Cage’s romantic partner for most of their lives.
Lam Wong is a visual artist, designer and curator based in Vancouver, BC. His interest is primarily rooted in regional West Coast art history, with an emphasis on the development of painting and its avant-garde narrative. Lam’s creative approach is often concerned with bending Eastern philosophies and challenging the notion of painting. He is currently practicing painting and tea related artwork as his main media. Lam sees art making as an on-going spiritual practice. His main subjects are the perception of reality, the meaning of art, and the relationships between time, memory, and space. www.lamwong.com