• baptistetavernier

Zen Painting & Crystal Bowls

Updated: Apr 13

Baptiste Tavernier playing crystal bowls in Japan

I have had, in several occasions, the opportunity to collaborate with artists and choreographers from different horizons. Those projects are always very creative and productive, and each time, I look forward the very special relationship that the singing bowls will help create

So I was indeed delighted and very interested when the SGT Museum of Fine Arts in Chiba, Japan, proposed me to do a "collaboration" with myself.

At that time, I was working on a new series of paintings called ZEN GARDEN. It was a transition series of works, an intermediate stage between my MAZE series and my new photographic works called INSTANT X.

ZEN GARDEN is centred on several dualities that merge to produce a contrasted yet unified form of painting: I oppose straight lines to circles, dark background to white foreground, complex and chaotic base to a pure main subject, natural material such as wood, paper or pigments, to plastic elements coming from the food and beverage industries.

Zen Garden by Baptiste Tavernier
ZEN GARDEN, acrylic, posca, washi on board, 65 x 53 cm, 2019.

Japanese rock gardens, called 枯山水, karesansui, are miniature stylised landscape made of rocks, moss sometimes, gravel and sand. Its gravel is raked in different patterns meant to represent ripples at a surface of a pond. Rock gardens are an expression of the essence of nature, a sight that invite to meditate about the true meaning of life.

The circles I created for this series are also reminiscent, somehow, of the singing bowls and their vibrations, and therefore we decided to do this "collaboration with myself" where the ZEN GARDEN series would be exhibited and crystal bowls played at the same time.

Visitors to focus on both music and painting at the same time, but most of them eventually fell under the spell of the crystal bowls, and spent their time sitting down and listening to the sound rather than contemplating the artworks... Although we live in an era where images have invaded every spaces and aspects of our daily life, pure sound (and silence) is still a much stronger vehicle to inner peace and happiness.

Zen artwork by baptiste tavernier
ZEN GARDEN, acrylic, posca, on canvas, 65 x 53 cm, 2019.