Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden to host LOTUS

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown is the setting for the next LOTUS installation by Gordon Halloran, made up of multiple paintings in the shape of the lily pad, bold in colour and varied in size. Visitors will see the artwork as they walk the paths, touring the gardens.

As part of the process for creating this artwork, the artist studied the patterns and hues of nature surrounding the lotus in the garden. His observation that every shape and pattern in nature can be found in permutations in other organic materials is expressed on the surface of each painting thorough the colors and textures of landscape flora and fauna.

The paintings themselves are grouped in ‘families’, distinctive by their colour and pattern. These ‘families’ float and move together on the water in relation to each other and to the landscape. The juxtaposition of the different families of paintings creates a visual impression of the connectedness of all organic matter.

With these water paintings, the artist expresses this observation of linkages and shared characteristics, as well as the relationships that humans create and call ‘family’. In Chinese lore, the stalk of the lotus plant is easy to bend in two, but is very hard to break because of its many strong sinuous fibres. Thus the lotus can represent an unbreakable relationship between two lovers or the members within a family.

Additionally, the lotus is connected to Buddhism, symbolizing purity and perfection. The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the scented flower blooms above the water, basking in the sunlight. This suggests the progress of the soul from the mud of materialism and suffering, through the waters of experience, and into the sunshine of enlightenment.

To contact the artist: Caitlin Hicks (604) 886-3634