Saturday, October 25, 2003

Huimang Springs Eternal

Will be back at the Hope Market tomorrow (Sunday), weather permitting, from noon to 6PM. If you're in the area and want to drop by, look for the only half-Korean selling stuff. Products will include:

1. Dalma-do (Bodhidharma brush art)
2. Ch'u-sang seo-yae (abstract calligraphy)
3. Horang-i-keu-rim (tiger brush art in cartoon style; "keu-rim" means "picture" or "drawing")
4. Man-hwa (comic art)
5. Ch'u-sang yaesul (abstract art)

About #5 above... I drew an image that freaked me out the first time I doodled it. It stuck with me, and I decided to draw it out on a larger scale. The tentative title is "Dharma," but I might change that to something more theistic, like "Creation." Right now it's just black-and-white brush art, but I'm wondering whether I shouldn't do this up as a sculpture... which means I have to learn how to sculpt.

"Dharma" looks like a screaming mouth ringed with eight human fingers. Ever looked at the underside of an octopus or squid? Have you seen how the mollusc's beak is extruded from an orifice? The mouth/finger image is somewhat reminiscent of that, as if some awful divine entity were erupting into the universe or shouting it into existence. This image occupies the center of the page, but the upper left corner contains a simple circle, perhaps representing the sun, or, metonymically, the cosmos. The image is archetypal; I really didn't have much control over what came out; it simply plopped onto paper that way. I see it as probably more theistic than nontheistic, which is why I'm thinking "Dharma" might not be the best title. But the eight fingers correspond to the eight spokes in the Buddhist Wheel of the Dharma, representing the Eightfold Path (p'al jeong do in Sino-Korean). A Hindu might see the image and recognize vac, the unuttered creative utterance which Hindus reflect in microcosm when they chant a mantra. A Jew or Christian might see a Genesis moment.


Because the image is so archetypal, I'm worried someone else may have come up with something similar. If I get the chance, I'll scan what I have and show it to you. If you find art like this somewhere else, tell me. I don't want to be reinventing the wheel.

No comments: