video installation

Verse 1 - The Door to All Essence

第一章 - 众妙之门 中文在下面

Verse E01.jpg

The first two verses of the Dao De Jing have been described as an introduction to the text as a whole, and there are a lot of ideas presented in this first verse.

Immediately, a key concept in Daoist thought is put forth – the disconnect between the universe itself and the words we use to describe it.

The Tao that can be stated is not the Eternal Tao. The name that can be named
is not the Eternal Name.

(Henry Wei)

Dao is described as the mother of all things, an eternal force that existed before the creation of the universe.

Another common theme is also put forth - the necessity to rid oneself of desire if one is to observe the wonders of the universe.

But I took the starting point for this first work from the last line. I loved the imagery of ‘[a] door to all essence’ (John C.H. Wu); ‘[a] gate of all mystery’ (Gong, Tienzen); ‘[a] gateway to all understanding’ (Kiyoashi). 

It alludes to the grandness and incomprehensibility of the forces that created the universe. And I thought it would be interesting to play with our human desire to open that door, and another lesson in the first verse which states: ‘rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets’ (D. C. Lau).

And so for this first work I created a video intervention where animations of the universe are partly visible through a projected half-opened door. Deep booming voices can be heard reading the first full verse in Chinese and English over a humming, other-worldly soundtrack.

Video 视频

Daodejing Verse 1 Chinese.jpg

第一章 - 众妙之门