The Coil 尘世

Zhao Hong 赵宏
b. 1967

The Coil
33 x 17 cm
Chinese ink and colour pigment on rice paper

塵世 (chenshi), or written as 尘世 in simplified Chinese form, is a reference to the human world or the world of mortals commonly found in Buddhist and Taoist religious texts and teachings.

At the initial meeting for Zhao Hong and the curatorial team to select artworks for the exhibition, the shared sentiment of seeing the artworks and discussing the stories behind the writings must have been euphoric for everyone.

A drizzling rain began outside when the artworks had been finalised and Zhao Hong was preparing to pack his artworks for shipping to the artwork mounting and framing workshop. Perhaps influenced by the after-effects of the team euphoria, Zhao left hurriedly with thoughts about the exhibition on his mind.

Not long after Zhao Hong’s departure, curatorial team members found several of Zhao’s scattered artworks on the escalator and the third floor of Bras Basah Complex. They began to track down as many artworks as possible and inform Zhao.

After Zhao Hong received the team’s warnings, he hurriedly retraced his steps in a desperate search for any of his missing artworks.

Zhao found the artwork 尘世 in a puddle of rainwater on Cashin Street next to the Bras Basah Complex – vehicle tyre tracks and dirt also marked the artwork.

Zhao Hong retrieved the artwork and found a few more while retracing his steps. When Zhao returned to the curatorial team, only three artworks were indeed lost.

When conducting an integrity check of the artwork 尘世, it was remarked that the塵 (尘) character has indeed given another interpretation of the artwork where 塵 (尘) means dust in the literal sense. While the original intent of the artwork was of a metaphysical environment, a hidden or secondary meaning has been implanted into the artwork by perhaps a divine intervention in this mortal realm.

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