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Title: (De)contextualising Buddhist aesthetics
Author: Mukdamanee, Vichaya
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 4475
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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'(De)contextualising Buddhist Aesthetics' is a practice-led artistic research project focusing on the interchanging transition between Buddhist and artistic practices. Essentially inspired by the concept of vipassana meditation, I created a series of performances involving repetitive actions centring on the tasks of re-arranging readymade objects into multiple precarious configurations. Many exercises challenge the laws of gravity and other physical limitations of objects, as well as encouraging the learning experience through the process of trial and error. During the course of mindful observation of the performing body and objects, the mental state gradually gains moments of stillness and silence, which approach the meaning of emptiness (suññata) in Buddhism. Repeated failures generate intermittent feelings of exhaustion and disappointment, which naturally become part of the progress, and can be personally used to develop insight into the notions of impermanence and the non-self derived from dhamma (Buddhist teachings). The video and photography documentations were edited and altered to generate a visual experience that echoes my thoughts and feelings developed during the proceedings; these moving images later inspired other series of hand-made artworks, including collages, drawings and paintings on paper and canvas, exhibited as part of the installations. Various techniques were applied so these objective components resonate a comparative experience of uncontrollability and controllability: dynamic and stillness, fast pace and slow rhythm, abstract and representation. Some two-dimensional pieces are transformed to three-dimensional and their displays keep changing from location to location, and from time to time, in conjunction with an unstable state of the mind. All artworks were created in various formats and interrelate and inform each other. They act together as evidence of the endless journey of artistic learning, which also mirrors the concept of self-learning in Buddhist meditation.
Supervisor: Chevska, Maria ; Thompson, Ashley Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Buddhist art ; Aesthetics ; Art ; Thai--20th century ; Art ; Thai--21st century