Phuong Nguyen. Art maker person from Toronto Canada.
"The Conversation" 2013
During my residency at Gibraltar Point (with OCAD) I made this site-specific and performative work on a concrete dock that was partially submerged in water. Sand and stones were taken from the beach where my studio and residence was located on and moved (via my backpack) onto the end of this dock. With the sand and stones (that had taken a few trips to transport back and forth) I created a mandala. I am primarily a 2-D artist, so finding a way to incorporate my work into a site specific work was a challenge. The mandala had been made and washed away 3 different times (for my critique, there was nothing but a few larger stones on the dock).
I wanted the mandala on the dock and the waves washing it away to be a metaphor for the human interaction with the Toronto Islands. My role in this site-specific/performative piece spoke of the role of mankind altering and changing nature (moving it around, arranging it, categorizing it, etc.), while the waves on the beach literally took it apart and washed it away. This construction and deconstruction took place three different times during the span of 3 days.
The mandala itself is a conceptual element. It speaks of impermanence, of detachment, and of human suffering. Mandalas are painstakingly made with elaborate and ornate details only to be systematically destroyed once they are completed to represent the separation of our minds and the attachment of physical possessions.