Title: The Raft
Publication: de Sarthe Fine Art
Publication date: 2011
Credits: de Sarthe, Gilles Mingasson,
Format (Size): 9.75”x10”
Features: 54pages, full color, hardcover book
Language: English and Chinese
Excerpt from: RAFT OF ILLUSION: Raging toward truth. There are two chapters in this exhibition; both employing the process of collage - one in a more traditional cut photographic epic montage of my photographs (using no appropriated imagery); another is created completely in camera with elaborate sets that act as actual collage pieces utilizing extremes of scale - not digital composites. These are theatrically staged and then photographed whole. Inspired by the film posters of the Chinese American icon Bruce Lee, there is also an existential itinerary at work here that links these to very different applications of photography. I’ve used quotes from the Dao. As an American studying philosophy and theology, I look at this book as a guide for living. Bruce Lee holds a special place in history as a person who navigated the paradoxical worlds of Hong Kong and Hollywood, elevating martial arts through a discipline and strength of mind and body the marriage of the spiritual and physical. He had one foot in the artifice of action film and the other ina transcendent world, enlightening and inspiring people still today. Being one of the most famous Chinese Americans he was a stereotype destroyer and creator of the magical, mystical, and heroic.
The raft is a reconciliation between man and nature - the horse representing the human idea of ownership of another living being, the taming and controlling of nature to serves humankind’s needs. The storm represents the struggles and darkness we all endure on our earthly journey towards enlightenment; the self created turmoil we manifest in our lives when we stray from our own personal moralities.
My goal here is an aggressive depiction illuminating the notion of cause and effect. People posing like in a Hollywood movie - the drama, the artifice and the authentic. The complexities of living in ever accelerating time while the attempting to navigate through all illusions, a quest for truth - the desire to live a higher life in all its fullness that will allow is a peaceful sleep and safe passage.