Koans, 2008

Koan is a Japanese word for a paradoxical riddle given to young Buddhist monks as aids for meditation. Koans are a continuous theme in Lijn’s work.

A typical Zen Koan would be What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping? Lijn used this as the title for a film she made in 1975 about the Koanseries of her work. Koans are tools for meditation and are used to dissolve duality. Koans are about relating the parts to the whole.

Clear Light Koan combines Lijn’s interest in the relationship between the material and the immaterial and the paradoxical nature of reality. The apparently solid cone is layered with emptiness. What appear empty is, in fact, solid, whereas the apparently solid white cone is an empty shell.

Red Line Koan and Acid Lava Koan are layered with elliptical coloured planes lit from within. The cones spin slowly at a constant speed, so that the viewer’s eye focuses on the lines which, in turn appear to dissolve the volume of the sculpture. Although the lines appear to move through the cone, the entire cone is spinning. Each line is an elliptical plane that describes the form of the cone at the precise points at which it dissects it. Since the cone turns and the viewer remains static, the viewer is given this information in a continuous flow, unlike an object around which the viewer would have to walk, and where the viewer’s perceptions are discontinuous.

Clear Light Koan
2008
170 x 96 cm diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, 20mm thick Clear Perspex sections, motorised turntable
Collection the artist

Clear Red Koan
2008
153 x 80 cm base diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, Fluorescent Orange and Green Perspex, motorised turntable, fluorescent light
Government Art Collection

Three Line Koan
2008
142 x 79.5 cm base diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, Fluorescent red and orange and green Perspex, motorised turntable, fluorescent light
Collection the artist

Mars Koan
2008
92.5 x 55 cm base diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, Fluorescent red and orange and green Perspex, motorised turntable, fluorescent light

Red Line Koan
2007
82.6 x 51.5 cm base diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, Fluorescent red and orange Perspex, motorised turntable, fluorescent light

Acid Lava Koan
2008
72 x 44.7 cm base diameter
Glass fibre, Polyester resin, Fluorescent red and orange and green Perspex, motorised turntable, fluorescent light
Collection the artist