The Way of the Sun is an intriguing art installation by Bleu Oleander that is currently open at Ribong Gallery Artspace 3583, curated by San (Santoshima). It is an installation that that offers multiple aspects of metaphor and narrative.
In THE WAY OF THE SUN, I explore themes of temple building, pilgrimage, worship, reflection and transcendence. Over the long human history, there are examples of humans worshipping the Sun and elements of nature, and building temples to access the divine.
– Bleu Oleander, on The Way of the Sun
From the arrival point, a large enclosed area intentionally suggestive of darkness, visitors are encouraged to read a poem celebrating the work of the temple builders, before following an arrow pointing to where a tower of light rises into the void, a ramp within it offering the way up. This in turn leads the way to a golden platform on which sits a high temple attempting to reach clouds that seem to form mystical patterns whilst turned to a burnished yellow by the Sun above them.
The metaphors within in this are clear – the passage from the landing point to the golden platform representing pilgrimage; the move from darkness to light representing the desire to achieve spirituality / enlightenment, the climb through the tower representing both the raising of temples and our need to ascend / transcend after or during life, all of which is further underlined by the presence of the figures within the installation, who stand as if lost within the lower level, but have arms raised in exultation within the temple.
Also to be found within this is the personal desire to achieve enlightening, to improve ourselves – not materially or religiously, but mentally and personally; the transfiguration through self-reflection and mental training through the likes of meditation within the “temples of the mind”.
Similarly, the temple stands as both a literal place of worship and as a symbol of the deep furrow temples, religion and ritual have played throughout human history. Even the Sun plays a dual role: the subject of so much of humankind’s worship and that actual essential giver of life to Earth, and the light that so often represent the achieving of self-awareness and personal transcendence.
Drawing on ancient cultures from around the world, notably Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and mesoamerican – The Way of the Sun also has a modern twist within it that again links the cultural aspects of spirituality with the personal. A small teleport panel, when found, will carry the individual visitor down to a floatation tank and the opportunity of mediation and reflection.
All told a fascinating installation.
- Ribong Gallery Artspace 3583 (Mieum, General)