Saṃsāra 

 

As part of the Boundary Crossings program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, I created Saṃsāra (2013) a window wheatpaste drawing that was combined with rear projected animation. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to work under the guidance of installation artist Rose Bond, and with her help, we managed to set up the installation at the front window of PNCA, gathering Portlandians around town to witness the spectacle. 

"Saṃsāra," or the repetitive cycle of birth and death, literally translates to "continuous movement." The imagery of the installation is derived from the seven different realms of existence according to the Buddhist belief of reincarnation, ranging from the hell and "hungry ghost" realm, to the animal realm, to the human realm, and to the God realm. I wanted to portray these different realms in a mural and represent the realms in how I perceived them to be, in which the Gods are indulgent spirits, constantly distracted by pleasure, and the lower realms are stuck in a cyclic transformation into different creatures, unable to escape the karma that control their fate.

Being the only Angeleno in the program, I added a few hometown icons in my drawing, including the LA river, a burning car representative of the riots, and city buildings with windows just begging to be looked through. I decided to make the drawing into an enormous wheatpaste as I had experience with doing street art in Los Angeles and had always wanted to incorporate it with animation somehow. 

What ended up happening was better than I could have imagined and inspired me to keep making installations with animated projections.