"The Book of Zero Series"
The Richard L. Nelson Gallery, Davis, CA.
My first attempt at a cross-disciplinary approach in art originated two
years ago with the Book of Zero Series. Inspired by the mathematical and
philosophical concepts of zero, the series of artworks reiterates the image
of a circle, or the figure zero, as a symbol that represents nothing yet
also stands as the source of primary energy and aspects of memory in the
flow of time between what has passed and that which is present.
In this series of paintings and projects layers of partially obscured collage,
hidden words, chiseled marks, and images, recede from within the zero to
form a background tapestry of recollections. The encaustic medium imparts
an opaque interior luminosity, an allusion to memory, while contrasts in
material and visual tension create presence and place on the surface.
The zero is a lens through which a view of the contemporary world may be
evoked. The number zero is a metaphor through which I see the burden of
suffering as unequally distributed. I see the daily struggles of the uncounted
population, the gap between the affluent and the poor, disparities between
voice and silence, the pain and suffering of the " zero people"
- the erosion of dignity and freedom by war and violence, the loss
of cultural memory to the advancement of aggressors, notions of gain without
the measurement of loss.
This installation honors those who have sacrificed their lives for the survival
of others, martyrs who care for the poor at their own expense, for the resilience
of the heart in the face of danger.
The Book of Zero Series
is further inspired by Mencius essay on “flood-like
It is difficult to explain. This is a ch’i which is, in the highest
degree, vast and unyielding. Nourish it with integrity and place no obstacle
in its path and it will fill the space between Heaven and Earth. It is ch’i
which unites rightness and the Way. Deprive it of these and it will collapse.
It is born of accumulated rightness and cannot be appropriated by anyone
through a sporadic show of rightness...(L.C. Lai, 57)
My special thanks to Kyle LeMoi, lighting designer, for his expertise, knowledge
and time in technical and lighting design for the installation; to Ben Diller
and Jemima Harr at The Richard L. Nelson Gallery for their assistance.