As my brush journeyed 9.33km, I felt it had reached another dimension, into immortality. It has freed itself from the shackles of what we know, but here I am, still on this earth, pondering alone.
I kept trying to reach the state that my brush had reached. Couldn’t. I tried again - tried to abandon the worldly knowledge, the attachment to purpose, the usual. I tried to experience the experience for what it is. But what is it?
Perhaps this is what it is.
In my struggle, I struggled. I struggled to see the enlightenment, and I struggled to let it go.
Did I want control? Or none at all?
Is this the purpose, of purposelessness?
My mind wavered, as I tried to float through my abandonment of what I know.
This piece documents and illustrates the artist’s intention to experience a meditative way of living – by being present. This meditative state arises when one is able to experience an action or activity for what it is. In other words, the purpose behind an action is simply the action itself, nothing else. The artist sought to abandon his agenda, representing knowledge and the intellectual, to go back to his purest existence.
The lines drawn are themselves a record of this process and abandonment. Every line is drawn freehand, and in the drawing of each line the artist’s focus is on experiencing the drawing of the line itself. The simplicity of this experience carries the complexity of his overall message. The artist sought to explore, through the creation of this piece, what it means to be truly present in a moment – the immediacy of movement, the irreversibility of each breath, the intricacies in the interaction between our minds and our bodies.
The piece also shows the struggles that the artist faced in his exploration of his purest self, alluding to the impossibility of absolute presence, or perhaps to the reality of being human. In his concentration in this meditative state, the artist found that absolute alignment between the mind and the body, and between the conscious and the subconscious, was not possible and the attempt created unavoidable tensions. His mind was unable to gain full control of his body. Simultaneously, the intended ‘purposelessness’ of his action began to simmer, shedding light on an inevitable contradiction: whether the ‘purposelessness’ of his work actually then creates purpose.
FUNG Yee Lick (b. 1985 Hong Kong, MA Fine Arts CUHK & MA Leicester), calligrapher, with a particular interest in exploring and understanding the origins of Chinese calligraphy in the contemporary context. He seeks to experiment with, go beyond and expand the known boundaries of calligraphy. Layered with reflections of the relationship between the self, life and the material world, his works seek to give voice and expression to oriental philosophical teachings in the modern world.
Fung received the Osage Art Award (Best in MA Show) and the Cactus Prize in 2020.