Plane Tree Mantra

Ink on plane tree
Dimensions variable
FIAC at Jardin des Plantes
National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France
Presented by Mor Charpentier
Photo courtesy of National Museum of Natural History, Paris, Bruno Jay, Frédéric Dubos, Marc Domage, Mor Charpentier, Takeshi Sugiura, and Olivia de Smedt
Video Link

As an in-situ intervention, Charwei Tsai inscribed the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist text, on the trunk of the iconic Oriental Plane Tree, which was planted in 1785 by the acclaimed botanist Buffon at the Jardin des Plantes. Heart Sutra is a text that the artist has learned by memory during her childhood in Taiwan, it is also a pillar of Buddhist wisdom, evoking the evanescence of all things. Tsai has written the characters in Chinese calligraphy on the trunk of tree. The public is invited to attend the writing process and to observe the gesture and calligraphy, which symbolizes the meeting between the memory of a person, a thousand year-old tradition, and a historical tree, more than two centuries old. (Text by National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France)

I Ask the River Tonight, ArtReview Asia

ArtReview Asia Autumn/Winter 2014

In collaboration with Tsering Tashi Gyalthang
Project for ArtReview Asia Autumn/Winter 2014

Spiral Incense Mantra

Spiral Incense Mantra, 2014, Installation view at We Came Whirling from Nothingness, 2014, TKG, Taipei, Taiwan, Photo by Steve Hung

Installation of ink on spiral incenses
150cm each

The Heart Sutra is inscribed on spiral incenses, commonly seen in traditional Buddhist temples in Asia. The incenses for this installation are custom-made by a family-owned incense factory, currently run by the third generation in Tainan, one of the oldest regions in the south of Taiwan. These scripted large spiral incenses are lit during the duration of the exhibition, and gradually transformed into smoke and ashes, manifesting the Buddhist concept of emptiness.

Spiral Incense Mantra, 2014, Production Photo