Paper Phoenix; Erasure

 Our assignment in Ideation was to create a piece by erasure, that is create art through the act of erasing, deconstructing, destroying...

For this project I remembered meeting the Kanin(that isthe Kancho or Head Priest's right hand man) of Eiheiji(the largest Zen Temple in the world!). The Kanin was a fascinatingly accomplished person whom was trained to die as a kamikaze pilot but given his life when the Atom Bomb dropped. Ever since the Atom bomb of Hiroshima, there had been a flame kept inside of a little red lantern. This flame was fueled by suffering, by pain and rage, and as the Buddha had said holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent to throw it at someone, you are the only one whom gets burned. The Buddhist monks believed that everything moves in a circle and recognized that the only way to extinguish this fire was to return the flame to the source. Organizing a group of monks together, the Kanin and crew flew to America and walked a great distance carrying the lantern to the gates of Trinity where the flame was born. The security resisted at first, but seeing the peaceful parade and the children with tens of thousands of cranes, with each containing a prayer for peace, they decided to open the gates. The band of peaceful people entered and opening the lantern they burned a specially prepared prayer on a long cloth along with thousands of cranes and a scrupulous amount of karma until the flames had extinguished themselves. The children`s prayers reached the heavens and were truly the key to getting into the gates of trinity and extinguishing the flame.

To resemble the phoenix, the bird born of ashes of old, I folded a paper crane and than deconstructed the bird to leave an empty sheet. Although the paper still carries traces of old in the creased folds, the paper is otherwise empty, not to be seeing as nothing but as a blank slate of unlimited potential where further creation can occur.

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