Lotus Mantra II

Lotus Mantra II, 2006

Installation with black ink on fresh lotus flowers, roots, and seeds
Dimensions variable
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, Singapore
Commissioned by Singapore Biennale

For the occasion of the inaugural Sinagpore Biennale: Belief in 2006, I was invited to create a project at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, a popular local Buddhist temple. I wrote the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist text on impermanence on a living lotus plant placed in the corridor of the temple. The local temple visitors many of whom knows the Heart Sutra by heart recited the text in front of the plant. Some also brought flowers to place in the soil of the plant and small fish to feed from the water of the plant as offerings. The other part of the project included offerings of the lotus root, seeds, and flower on the altar inside the temple. The various parts of the lotus that are in reference to the purification of body, speech, and mind in the Buddhist belief. (Please see Lotus Mantra I, 2006.) The lotus is closely connected to the temple as the diety Kwan Im who is being worshiped here is often depicted as standing or sitting on the heart of a lotus flower or often holding one in her hand as a symbol of purity.