There is a growing presence of Buddhist perspectives in contemporary Western culture. This shift began in the nineteenth century and is now pervasive in many aspects of everyday experience. In the arts especially, inspiration from Buddhist mantras and the increasing importance of process over product has promoted a profound change in the relationship between artist and audience.
My goal with this series is to gain a better understanding of the mortality of life, the impermanence of every living being (human and animal alike), and society’s relationship with dissolution through the exploration of meditation, yoga and degradation. Asana is the Sanskrit word for a seated pose. It identifies with the mastery of sitting still for long periods. Yoga poses and their variants symbolize introspection, temporality through the flow of time, and physical strength. I am fascinated with death and our relationship with mortality: the Tibetan Buddhist mantra that death is certain, the limits of the human body and how it acts as a vessel, and mortality’s connection to time.
When I work with bones I am reminded that I, too, am built on a structure of strong bones, which will one day be reminders of the fragility of my life and memory. This new sense of awareness has brought me deeper into both my artistic and meditative practices. Different bones are incorporated into each pose. Although they are animal bones, they have many similarities to the bones in our bodies. They are a physical relic of a once living thing, a reminder of death. Photography and yoga have both served to deepen my understanding of the fleeting, poignant, utterly contingent nature of things.
All content © K. Nakaska, 2015