Ritual and Repetition

Owen – Murakami
March 1, 2007, 12:17 am
Filed under: Ritual and Repetition


Meditating, 2007
44 seconds
Ginger Owen & Shuichi Murakami – Kalamazoo Michigan


This work is a portrait of Shuichi Murakami as he attempts to visualize his inner time lag. It depicts montage images of personal struggle and desire to take charge of his mind.

In the fall of 1995, Carl Toth questioned Shuichi: “Convince yourself of esthetics!” At that time, Shuichi was trained as a traditional photographer, carrying a large format 8×10 view camera and spending most of his time in the darkroom. His esthetics, he assumed were photographs of beautiful flowers, mountains and models. Questioning himself, he realized that the photographs made of subjects would not convince his-self of personal esthetics, for the subjects themselves were already beautiful. He then pursued the goal of “making” photographs beautiful.. He continues to stand “outside”, looking for subjects of the internal mind landscape.

Meditation is a practiced skill to reach peace – enlightenment – happiness; attention is focused away from the habitual mental noise of the “Mind.” The natural result of attaining the ability to quiet one’s own mind is the discovery of self-awareness. Awareness is the substance of which we think we are; it is “I.” Witnessing movement of awareness, acknowledging existence of awareness is the self-discovery of “I.”

If we can learn to observe the endless emotional inner pain caused by outer input, we might grasp the key to our own inner map. Our state of mind is like a garden without gardener: unwanted weeds (chaotic, emotional thought) take over. If the gardener can imagine his garden beautiful, then there is a way to cultivate his dream. A skilled gardener uses refined tools and practice.

Shuichi explores the skill of meditation I order to clear out his unwanted mind noise, fear, guilt, happiness caused by him memory and experience. This space provides a white canvas to live in and create his esthetics.

“Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.”
James Alan



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