Yoshizen's Blog

Pok’s ZEN

Ten days ago I received an invitation to a private view of an art exhibition from a man whom I don’t know at all.

I was quite puzzled, how come ? ? ?    (since my Email address is not public)

Exhibition was a contemporary art in context of dairy practice in Zen Buddhist’s culture —- What ?

Before go down to the puzzle of Zen art, I guessed that somebody my friend who knows of my Zen blog

might have suggested him to send an Email to me.

Any how, it’s best to see a man and ask.


So, I took a journey to the exhibition and met a young artist, Chong-Boon Pok.

Obviously he is a Chinese but turned out to be from Malaysia and living in here about 10 years.

And he is a kind of [native] Zen Buddhist, who doesn’t need to know what the Zen is or its

history etc,  but as he was grown up in its environment he is naturally doing it.

(even unaware of why —– it’s in his subconscious)

—– As he was saying in his Press release;

“ My studio practice operates within subjects, time and space using the everyday and engages

aspects of mindfulness,self, memories, social, cultural and symbolic form. My cultural upbringing and

life experiences are often revisited, examined and evidenced in my work.

The work embraces ideas of as-it-is-ness, nothingness, the impermanent nature of things, and the

interconnectedness of objects and people, all of which are relevant to Zen Buddhist discourses of everyday.”


And what he is showing are — in his words;

“ Devoting attentiveness to and contemplating the everyday is central to my art practice.

The everyday that I refer to is the trivial, ordinary and inconsequential objects and activities that

people tend to take for granted such as the cutlery we use for eating, something we are so familiar

with that we are less likely to give a second thought when we encountered them. Besides

assembling everyday objects into sculptural forms and installations, part of my work involves

using food and cooking to perform and interact with people visiting my exhibition.”


Like a round piece in the photo above ( can be enlarged with click on the photo) it was made out of

drink-can’s pull-ring —– thousand of them. So as the other pieces, they are made out of really

ordinary objects —– but with the thousands of repeated works.

Some may think, it might have done by dreadful swet-shop like endless work or even it might have done by

the hired worker —– wrong.   It was all done by the artist himself.

And some may think, it is a kind of play devoting to the God —– wrong again.

Except the first few line of the work where the artist needed to find the best adjustment, following work

all through up to the finishing line, it was done almost automatic = just the repeating movement of the fingers.

There was nothing else in his mind = so-called Mindfulness, though, in fact, there was nothing.

Hence Mind of No-Mind = the true reflection of the Nothingness of the existence.

—– in deed, those repeating work is the Buddhist’s practice = by which the one can reach to

the state of Mushin (Mind of No-Mind ).


But we shouldn’t forget, that the Practice is just the practice to get the state of the mind, Mushin.

Mushin itself is not a goal. It is just a state of the mind.   What is the goal ? —– Life, that’s all.

But the Life without unnecessary worries or useless delusions hence without pitfall.

What else anyone needs to have ?

More than handful of gold ? Or surrounded by 100 of virgins ? —— ? ? ? What to do with those virgins ?

Do you want to be a rapist or dirty old man ? —– in fact, all those dirty idea negates the goodness or virtue of

the Mushine, since it against the Rules of the Dharma.

One’s life is to make other life happier.   This is what all about the meaning of the Life.

( Running big company employing thousands of staffs and selling the products all over the world

—– in effects, supporting those who working for him, and appreciated by the people who bought the products,

in the same time, making money and able to supports his own family —– this is the Life.

(well, billions of variations there)


So, unmistakably,  the artist,  Pok succeeded in this task —– by his work in Mushin, made

the people smile and made their eyes open “ A, Ha ~ ~ ~”  and making people feel Happy.

He should be rewarded by the Dharma.


His exhibition [ Contemplating the Everyday ] continues until 8th July, 11am~5pm

@ Central House Building / Metropolitan University —– Near Oldgate East Station , London

(it is opposite of the Whitechapel Gallery / Habib Bank on the corner / entrance is over the Bank office)

—– < www.thegroundweshare.co.uk.blogspot.com >

It’s worthwhile to pay a visit  🙂


One Response

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  1. ZEN in Making « Yoshizen's Blog said, on July 15, 2012 at 13:45

    […] a good sample, I wrote about the artistic practice of an artist Pok (link here) some time […]

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