This two-year study at the PFSTA has been such a surprising and unforgettable journey: alchemy, sacred geometry and sacred arts have given me a different perspective on traditional art, especially that of the prehistoric and early cultural contexts.
These two years have also been like a pause in my life, a chance to disengage from the material world and practice in a sanctuary of traditional art where the craft aims at spiritual sublimation (升华) via the study material. By making my own pigments for example: red cinnabar, cyan malachite, blue lapis. Not only is using this paint from Nature a process of dialogue with the natural world, but also using materials from the earth to paint the image in one's mind connects the inner self and the outer world through the outer object. This process seems to me to be a spiritual practice in itself.
As a Chinese born female artist who has lived and worked in both Europe and China, the subject of “tradition” is filled with contradiction. To anyone who scrutinizes contemporary life, tradition is present everywhere: nevertheless, it is becoming more and more fragmented and on the edge of disappearing. Tradition is seen by some as archaic dross that can be discarded and replaced with so-called “positive progress”; others see it as a treasure, lamenting immensely what is lost and cherishing what remains. In fact, the world is a constant cycle of right and wrong, new and old, good and evil, ever since the very beginning.
With this in mind, I have created a symbol of my own in the original oracle bone script form of the word "化"图片包含 游戏机, 物体, 桌子, 灯光
描述已自动生成 meaning transformation or change. Depending on the combination of the numbers and images it can be used as a symbol of my individual “self” or, as in traditional art, a decorative pattern or a symbol of the sacred human-being.
I have recorded that for each 1 cm square of the character "化", the unit takes me an average of 30 seconds to write. As with copying sutras (holy texts) the practice can go on endlessly, feeling one's heart and mind (inner consciousness), measuring time (the outer world). To experience the void or non-being of the universe in such being-action, to experience the actuality and emptiness of the universe is an essential part of my own meditation and contributes to my own art practice.
Whether it is making my own paints, my own paper, calligraphy, ceramics, stained-glass, direct learning and discussion with masters of different cultural traditions from around the world, these experiences have transformed my understanding about the connection between mind, heart and hand. They have also transformed my comprehension of vision and art, between the outer material and the inner spirit, helping us forget ourselves and dissolve in the timeless plenitude of light in colour.
I am Tianyuan, a Chinese born female artist who has lived and worked in both Europe and China. Although I have worked with traditional techniques and materials in the past, my studies at the PSTA have been such a surprising and unforgettable journey: alchemy, sacred geometry and sacred arts have given me a different perspective on traditional art, especially prehistoric and early cultural contexts. Making my own pigments and materials, as the ancestors did, has transformed my understanding of the connection between mind and hand, vision and art, between the outer material and the inner spirit. , helping us forget ourselves and join the timeless plenitude of light in colour.