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Lotus River is a multi-channel digital installation that brings modern audiences into the mental world of the 17th-century monk-painter, Bada Shanren.
Born as a Ming-dynasty prince, Bada turned into a Buddhist monk at the age of 18 after the overthrow of the Ming dynasty by the Manchu army. His dramatic life experience in the transitional era between dynasties was weaved into the innovative world of his art. Playing with illusion, doublemeaning, and Chan Buddhist concepts, his poetry and painting were intricatedly designed as intellectual riddles, veiling and unveiling his true feelings at the same time.
Focusing on his most significant masterpiece, Lotus River, this project unpacks the hidden interior of Bada Shanren behind the handscroll that unfolds the life cycle of lotus flowers.