oh hello. let's talk sen [again]

hi. i guess i needed a break. putting up the show, plus teaching, plus life and something had to be neglected. this blog became the unwatered plant.

anyone still here?

my show at walter maciel gallery is up for a few more days. i'm actually going to go visit it this weekend with my family [the little wanted to see the show. yes. heart got all melty]. but i thought i'd finally post some images here for those of you that won't be able to make it there physically.

let's start with the drawings? i have still been working with/interested in SEN - or 1000 in japanese [other explorations of this idea/installation are here, here, here [with a contributor list], and here]

when i went to sanjusangendo in kyoto i was forever changed.  the sea of buddhas is like nothing i've ever experienced. in the last show i abstracted the "crown" that they wear into this shape. i wanted to do another piece with that shape. walter's space has a hallway. i wanted to recreate a small version of walking down the hall past all the buddhas. this buddha crown piece is in 3 parts - each one 45" or so wide.


it's how you enter [or exit depending on how you walk into the building] my show. 

i felt compelled to do another version of senbazaru or 1000 cranes. this one more like some of the garlands that people make and hang [sort of like this]

did you know there's a 1000 samurai march that happens once a year?  well there is, and samurai wear kabuto [warrior helmets]. so i abstracted those. and drew them really really tiny. this piece is about 14" x 14" 

then i decided to try and recreate the feel of a march in a drawing. this was one of the hardest pieces to make as i had a layout in my mind, but also had to get to 1000 heads. i wanted to create depth so the heads/helmets in front are larger, but as i kept going i realized i had to also give up negative space. in the end i think i was able to keep enough negative space for it to feel as though it's a sea of people moving down a street... but this one definitely made me sweat. 

i alternated between about 6 colors for the samurai - only the red guys got knots/thread. 

senju kannon is the buddha w/ 1000 arms - they usually hold weapons, but i thought i'd just draw buddha hands in mudras - this one is has teaching and reassurance. 

this one [the last piece i finished] has both 1000 hands -with the addition of the expelling demons mudra [aka the headbangers mudra] - and 1000 knots. double the luck. 

when i first conceived of the 1000 doily piece i originally wanted it to be in a circle. there was no way i could pull that off when i first exhibited it. i didn't even have them all in my possession when i was laying it out. so i went with a simple grid. while gridding it, i realized i wanted to try to do it in singular vertical rows of color - and i got to do that at the ulrich .

this time i was going to get it into that circle. so this was my template drawing to see approximately how many across it would be. could i even get it into a perfect circle. most likely not. so then what? how to "finish" the shape? what would the color order be? 

i decided to use a painting chart color order for my order. starting in white, ending in yellow. 

may i just say that this was the hardest instal i've done of these piece. and the other two were definitely not a picnic. 5 days. up and down a ladder. no way to make the circle except for tape and my eyeballs [and the eyeballs of my incredible helpers]. oh that row is off. move it. get it right. start pinning. up and down. up and down. and not a regular ladder [although there was one of those] - a ceiling hook ladder - not an A frame. you can see it in the video below.  

this view is from atop that crazy ladder. the last night, late, when i was pushing through to just finish.

hi. me at the opening. which was so fun. i love my extended LA family. it still feels familiar. a home away from home. i won't ever love the traffic, but a part of me will always be happy to be there. 

and here - here's the video of me and my incredible assistants putting up the piece. it's a crazy labor of love, and again i'm amazed that people are willing to help me. to risk sore fingers and crazy shoulder pain for this. for this.

happy december you guys. 


Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing such a stunning and gorgeous tribute to your Japanese heritage. I bet it was breathtaking to see it in in person where the colors and the patterns must have been fantastic.

No wonder you were so sore after the installation of the 1000 doilies!
whitneybee said…
Thank you so much for posting all the photos! After seeing the little in-progress tidbits on Instagram, it's really great to see them up and installed, even if it's not in person. Bravo!
Cynthia said…
Definitely still here. LOVE the pictures of your show. So rich in many, many ways. I hope one day to see your work in person. Thank you for sharing the photos and stories of your process. Always a joy to see and to read. Happy holidays!
emily said…
lisa! i love this! i have loved all of the installations, but this - seeing the complimentary pieces, "hearing" you "tell" about the meaning behind each one, seeing all of those strings hanging. i almost feel like i was there and i'm so glad. (also i have an idea. and i'm trying a new blog reader, so maybe i'll be reading here more? i hope so.) xoxo.
niki said…
LIsa...these are so lovely and delicate. I have always been an admirer, and wish I could see this work in person. The handing thread lines make such a beautiful mark.
Heather said…
Way behind on my blog reading, but wanted to take a moment to say this is all just so beautiful and impressive. I wish I could see it in person - it has such energy even in photos, and I'm sure that's even more true in person. Wonderful.

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