Jawshing Arthur Liou

b. 1968. Lives and works in Bloomington.
Jawshing Arthur Liou works with photography, video, and electronic imaging to create video installations depicting mental and surreal spaces. The videos do not contain a clear narrative but rather are meditative in nature, allowing time to slow to a ruminative pace, while spatial scales oscillate between the microcosmic and infinitely expansive. arthurliou.com

Kora, 2011?2012
3K video, sound composition by Aron Travers and Melody E?tv?s, 14 min.
Courtesy Chiwen Gallery (Taipei)
Video artist Jawshing Arthur Liou embarked on a 2,300-kilometer filming expedition that started from Lhasa, traveled through the Tibetan Plateau, and ultimately made sojourns to Mount Everest and Mount Kailash. The trip included a four-day kora?a walking circumambulation around Mount Kailash at an elevation between five and six thousand meters. The work traces the steps of pilgrims while presenting unique mountain landscapes, reverence for nature and a space of spiritual sanctuary.
Kora is deliberately shot and edited from a first person perspective, placing the viewer on the path of a pilgrim. The thin air of the dizzying altitude is made palpable through the hand-held camera technique. Only that which is closest in view has defined edges; the mountain remains a mirage receding into the heavens. The slowly unfolding composition of expansive electronic sounds and string instruments gradually brings one’s attention to the present moment of the solitary hike. While the moving image is revelatory of the grand symphony of the natural scenery, the sound conveys the expansive interiority of one’s being. Following Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the gentle pitch of prayer bells flows into the sonic scape as a wake up call to slumbering minds. At times nature’s silence feels catatonic; at others, the sense of communion with it rests the mind in a deep exaltation in Spirit. Occasionally we come across the lone figure of a prostrating pilgrim dwarfed to an ant’s size by the surrounding landscape. Prayer flags strung between the rocks create multi-colored fluttering carpets. The wind carries their blessings skyward then scatters them across the world as an offering from the Tibetan Buddhists for the good of all. [Jawshing Arthur Liou]