Wish Mandala - Summer 2011
 Jun Ishida’s installation created peace and harmony in the community

  

Created by Japanese native and Brooklyn-based artist, Jun’ichiro Ishida, Wish Mandala, was designed to “create harmony in the community.”  The centerpiece of the project wasa giant outdoor mandala surrounded by numerous “wishing flags.”  A mandala, meaning “circle” in Sanskrit, is a sacred design that represents wholeness, a sort of cosmic diagram that represents our connection to, and place in, the universe.   Jun created the Annmarie mandala from natural materials collected from the garden.  Each visitor to Annmarie was invited to write a wish on their “wishing flag” and decorate the flag with drawings, paints, and stamp marks.  The flags were hung in and around the mandala, and as Jun explains, the “winds blows through the flag and carry your wish to the universe.” 

Jun’s choice of a mandala is the result of his experiences of living in Nepal and practicing Buddhism for the past ten years, as well as the impact of living in New York during the 911 attacks.  His time in Nepal left him with a deeper sense of peace, an inner calm that left little room for an interest in material possessions.  Following 911, he was so stunned by his “witnessing of the existence of pure evil,” he was not able to create art for nine months, the longest period he had ever gone without making art since he was 17.  When he did finally begin working again, he realized he wanted to be a promoter of peace, a creator of positive energy.  This realization led to a period during which he thought a great deal about what his art can and should do.  He found he was not interested in shocking art, but rather art that revealed and celebrated “the good side of human nature.”  Together these experiences have turned his artistic and spiritual life to a quest for harmony.  In the mandala, he has found a process and a product that embody his values.

As he created the Annmarie mandala, Jun engaged in a “conversation with nature,” as he picks the materials and design of the mandala.  For Jun, the process of making the mandala is a quest for harmony, it is a “peaceful process and the piece itself conveys my calmness to the people who look at it.”  Annmarie guests were invited to observe his creative process and to contribute to Wish Mandala with their “wishing flag.”  More than



Artist Statement – Jun’ichiro Ishida

            I envision my art as promoting the positive essence of the human experience to create harmony in the community. I want my pieces to wake up the audience from idling in the impermanence of the floating world and make them become aware of living in the present moment in fully. To advance them to a level of consciousness embodied in the following declarations: Live the life. Now is the time. Focus and concentrate. I want to celebrate being alive in an interrelated world. I believe that absolute beauty resides in tranquility. I challenge the notion of self-serving, self-important, self-expressional art. Also, I contest the idea of art as protesting, criticizing, or merely reflecting our society. I would rather dedicate my work to preserving the good side of human nature rather than reducing it to a just complaint. In working toward this mission, I distil and decant ingredients from my surroundings and strive to radiate them with pure energy. 

            To realize my vision, I incorporate all aspects that gave me positive influences from life experiences. I am keenly aware of my Asian heritage, I am familiar with both western art and non-western art include the philosophy of art making. I advocate the concept of art making as not for the expression of individuality but as a dedication to realized beings, which is still strong motivation of making art in many parts of the world. I am also highly committed to aesthetics that I have four guiding principles: unexpected composition, skillfully and cleverly crafted forms, richness in color, and unique layering effects. According to these principals, I manipulate dimension, form, and color. 

            My art shares tranquility with others. I want my viewer to be calmly awake, to be mindful and aware of the joy of living. When the radiance from a painting is conveyed to an audience – and when they feel that positive energy - I consider my work a success. 

 

 

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