In the Bowels of the Bardo

 

 

In the Bowels of the Bardo, titled after Ye Qin Zhu’s 2018 painting, considers the bardo (the state between death and rebirth) as a bridge between the spiritual and material. Emerging from an ethereal place, his paintings take shape, become saturated with objects, and don the motifs of the bardo. The bardo is a stretch of waiting, a longing for definition. The stillness this may bring is pierced by the despair of loss and void, inviting attachments to fill. The fracture of coming into being is marked by its eventual unbecoming. The behaviors of the bardo’s loop pervade throughout the paintings in this exhibition.


Zhu’s painting, In the Bowels of the Bardo, is built up of detritus, keepsakes, electronic parts, and bio matter. Often the objects appear lived, carrying with them past stories. Among the sediment is a lump of wax resting on a protruding rock. Embalmed within the translucent wax are several longhorn beetles, a housefly, rubber band, and the peel of a citrus fruit. In the manner of the fragmentary congealing into a whole, figures and objects amass to depict bardo scenes. Each scene is in an amorphous-shaped panel, when pieced together, they constitute the “bowels” of an interconnected bardo realm. In some Buddhist paintings, the karmic wheel enclosing the bardo is clasped between the jaws of a cosmic deity. This encompassing picture suggests that to live is to consume—and the dead travel through the bowels, where digestion and transformation occurs.

In the Bowels of the Bardo
In the Bowels of the Bardo

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 86" x 74" Materials: paper, beeswax, mushrooms, dominos, cat hair, wires, usb cable, bamboo, longhorn beetle, house fly, bee, citrus peel, glass, lock, plug, botanicals, acrylic paint, oil paint, iridescent film, dowels, hot glue, caulk, cork, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, piece of a car tire, pewter, bong, starfish, clay, metal lettering, cup warmer, batteries, headphone, crystals, shell, tile, aluminum.

In the Bowels of the Bardo
In the Bowels of the Bardo

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 86" x 74" Materials: paper, beeswax, mushrooms, dominos, cat hair, wires, usb cable, bamboo, longhorn beetle, house fly, bee, citrus peel, glass, lock, plug, botanicals, acrylic paint, oil paint, iridescent film, dowels, hot glue, caulk, cork, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, piece of a car tire, pewter, bong, starfish, clay, metal lettering, cup warmer, batteries, headphone, crystals, shell, tile, aluminum.

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Dance of the Goddess Maya
Dance of the Goddess Maya

Ye Qin Zhu | 2017 | 60" x 42" Materials: paper, sand dollars, caulk, rocks, cardboard, automotive paint, beeswax, rubber bands, branches, dried tangerines, dried grapefruit, chestnuts, botanicals, wooden snake, bee, cement spray paint, pieces of a Gundam model, sea urchin, acrylic paint, tar, hot glue, mushrooms, 1/100 scale human models, PLA filament, pigment, electronic parts, plywood.

Dance of the Goddess Maya
Dance of the Goddess Maya

Ye Qin Zhu | 2017 | 60" x 42" Materials: paper, sand dollars, caulk, rocks, cardboard, automotive paint, beeswax, rubber bands, branches, dried tangerines, dried grapefruit, chestnuts, botanicals, wooden snake, bee, cement spray paint, pieces of a Gundam model, sea urchin, acrylic paint, tar, hot glue, mushrooms, 1/100 scale human models, PLA filament, pigment, electronic parts, plywood.

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Ascending and Descending a Mountain
Ascending and Descending a Mountain

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 46" x 73" Materials: paper, beeswax, reishi mushrooms, milkweed seeds and pods, botanicals, acrylic paint, oil paint, iridescent film, dowels, hot glue, caulk, cork, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, wires, plywood.

Ascending and Descending a Mountain
Ascending and Descending a Mountain

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 46" x 73" Materials: paper, beeswax, reishi mushrooms, milkweed seeds and pods, botanicals, acrylic paint, oil paint, iridescent film, dowels, hot glue, caulk, cork, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, wires, plywood.

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Haunting the Hungry Ghost
Haunting the Hungry Ghost

Ye Qin Zhu | 2017 | 25” x 30 1/2” Materials: paper, asphalt, coyote teeth, braided lanyard, mushroom, steel plate, 9v battery, electronic parts, caulk, rock, dragonfly, model chickens, model moss, hot glue, silkworm cocoon, acrylic paint, oil paint, botanicals, plywood, pigment, bullet shells.

Haunting the Hungry Ghost
Haunting the Hungry Ghost

Ye Qin Zhu | 2017 | 25” x 30 1/2” Materials: paper, asphalt, coyote teeth, braided lanyard, mushroom, steel plate, 9v battery, electronic parts, caulk, rock, dragonfly, model chickens, model moss, hot glue, silkworm cocoon, acrylic paint, oil paint, botanicals, plywood, pigment, bullet shells.

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Sight, Taste, Appetite
Sight, Taste, Appetite

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 94" x 46"

Sight, Taste, Appetite
Sight, Taste, Appetite

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 94" x 46"

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Reason Trail
Reason Trail

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 94" x 46"

Reason Trail
Reason Trail

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 94" x 46"

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Searching the Loop
Searching the Loop

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 92" x 46"

Searching the Loop
Searching the Loop

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 92" x 46"

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Triptych, 2019: Reason Traill (left)  |  Sight, Taste, Appetite (middle)  |  Searching the Loop (right)

Each mixed media on panel piece is 96" x 48"

Hell Guide/Heaven Guard: an Emanation in the Bardo State Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 61" x 52" Materials: paper, beeswax, mushrooms, wires, computer mouse, curling iron, glass, botanicals, acrylic paint, lenticular images, hot glue, caulk, sponge, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, piece of a car tire, pewter, exact-o blades, clay, bone, twigs, pom pom, flattened exhaust pipe, tacts, ceramics, scale model humans, pen quills, packaging peanuts, thermostat, silicone.

Hell Guide/Heaven Guard: an Emanation in the Bardo State Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 61" x 52" Materials: paper, beeswax, mushrooms, wires, computer mouse, curling iron, glass, botanicals, acrylic paint, lenticular images, hot glue, caulk, sponge, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, piece of a car tire, pewter, exact-o blades, clay, bone, twigs, pom pom, flattened exhaust pipe, tacts, ceramics, scale model humans, pen quills, packaging peanuts, thermostat, silicone.

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Cocoon Alchemy
Cocoon Alchemy

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 50" x 47" x 12" Materials: paper, beeswax, wood, all the lenses from a projector, cocoons, moth shedding, PLA filament, ear plugs, glass, botanicals, acrylic paint, door knob, chestnuts, seeds, hot glue, caulk, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, pewter, clay, bone, dried echeveria, ceramics, silicone, 3d printed objects, Colgate toothpaste box, soda can, bottle of Advil, petrified wood, TV remote, milled pneumatic engine, tile, batteries.

Cocoon Alchemy
Cocoon Alchemy

Ye Qin Zhu | 2019 | 50" x 47" x 12" Materials: paper, beeswax, wood, all the lenses from a projector, cocoons, moth shedding, PLA filament, ear plugs, glass, botanicals, acrylic paint, door knob, chestnuts, seeds, hot glue, caulk, rocks, watercolor, ink, pigment, tile, electronic parts, plywood, pewter, clay, bone, dried echeveria, ceramics, silicone, 3d printed objects, Colgate toothpaste box, soda can, bottle of Advil, petrified wood, TV remote, milled pneumatic engine, tile, batteries.

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Spirit Guide (Mirror Face)
Spirit Guide (Mirror Face)

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 30" x 39" Materials: paper, hot glue, beeswax, acrylic paint, tempered glass, rocks, botanicals, roots, electronic parts, caulk, pigment, mirror glass, white oak burl, Burger King chicken nugget, bee, batteries, catalpa pods and seeds, thread, tape, wires, produce mesh, linen, plywood.

Spirit Guide (Mirror Face)
Spirit Guide (Mirror Face)

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 30" x 39" Materials: paper, hot glue, beeswax, acrylic paint, tempered glass, rocks, botanicals, roots, electronic parts, caulk, pigment, mirror glass, white oak burl, Burger King chicken nugget, bee, batteries, catalpa pods and seeds, thread, tape, wires, produce mesh, linen, plywood.

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Seer, Creator, Driver
Seer, Creator, Driver

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 49" x 71" Materials: paper, glue, rocks, botanicals, electronic parts, caulk, metal, pigment, 3D printed objects, hot glue, vinyl, moth cocoons, butterfly cocoons, lenticular images, cat hair, and reflector beads.

Seer, Creator, Driver
Seer, Creator, Driver

Ye Qin Zhu | 2018 | 49" x 71" Materials: paper, glue, rocks, botanicals, electronic parts, caulk, metal, pigment, 3D printed objects, hot glue, vinyl, moth cocoons, butterfly cocoons, lenticular images, cat hair, and reflector beads.

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