Written in Sand is a project enthused by the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of time to form a ‘sand mandala’, only to be deconstructed shortly after their completion. Inspired by these intricate ‘sand mandalas’, whose creation and destruction is intended as a reminder of the impermanence of life, the project aims to initiate a debate on the subjectivity of this transience. When applying the philosophy to modern society, one could argue that the cultural implication of a creation probably outlives its physical structure. Case in point, religion is more permanent than the temple where it is practiced. Our creations are both precious and poignant and yet unmindful of its concerns. Using the metaphor of ‘sand mandala’, Written in Sand is constructed as a vehicle to generate a dialogue, to realize the impermanence of digital reality perhaps, one that we consider is archived beyond our living years.
Having Transient London as the theme, the installation aims to demonstrate that nothing exists longer than an instant, except the thing that we hold in memory. It creates several instances of this memory, in the form of sand drawing, a postcard as well as a digital feed and critically questions the permanency of these media. To generate a debate that challenges the current accepted immortality of digital archives when pitted against the perceived permanence of physical infrastructures.
Here are a few snippets from the exhibition at Nursery Gallery, London.