66 lotus flowers

lotus flowers

I live with lotus flowers. I love when their fresh flowers bloom, then gradually wither, yet their stems stand erect. This is my favorite dried lotus shape.  Other times they droop before they wilt and die. I find these transitions inspiring.

creating my first work

When I created my first lotus painting.  I counted the impressions. Alas, I did not write the number. I only started writing the numbers much later, specifically on the 1st of August, 2017. 

This hand stitch work took weeks to complete. The actual lotus stamping on this work is a representation of my original work, which was sold and is now somewhere anonymously in the world.

Sinn Sisamouth

With my first work, I was lulled to the tunes of Sinn Sissamouth.

Although he is gone, he remains in the hearts and minds of all Khmer.  He was a prolific Cambodian singer-songwriter in the 1950s to the 1970s, and widely considered the “King of Khmer music.” Traditional music with the sounds of rhythm and blues plus rock and roll, creating to a Westernized sound akin to psychedelic or garage rock. He is perhaps best remembered for his  reminiscences of Battambang.

ink

My ink is holy & blessed. Like a rare distillate, this elixir is a matter of quality over quantity. A massive cartload of lotus  requested after temple celebrations produces as little as a few cups.

I  brew this liquid for a year. The recipe is honed from long years of research, combining techniques inspired by artisanal papermakers and traditional woodblock printers I’ve studied on travels across the region. In this way I offer a truly holistic circle of life and original environmental approach to art, from pond to studio to display.

ink pad

I start by inking a clean, empty pad. Then, with a fresh cut lotus stalk I press it onto the pad and then onto the paper. Each impression varies in intensity. Soon, the ink on the pad dries and what remains is a layer of lotus petal ash.

lotus stalk off cuts

As I paint with the stalk, I continually need to re-cut a fresh tip. Here on this table are all of the offcuts for this exhibition.

burning lotus

I burn the flowers on my rooftop in Battambang, overlooking the city, with the Cardamom mountains in the background.

blade

As the residue forms on the ink pad, I use a blade to remove it. With this residue I either put it back into the ink pot, or I squeeze it into a form for an ink cake which I can use later.

numerology

As I create a piece of art, I am always counting as I apply my strokes. When I complete a row I note this number on the side of the work. These are then torn off after the work is completed. These counts are special to me and I keep them as part of my life.

I title each of my paintings based on the number of lotus embossed stamps on each piece.  I include the exact number as part of my artistís signature.

My lotus works can easily consist of a minimum of 10,000 lotus stalk impressions. I incorporate these elements of counting into the lotus art. The result looks a bit like the bespoke marks of an haute couturier’s pattern, which again is fitting as I began my career designing and sewing clothes in Australia and selling them at local markets.

spiked numbers

When I complete a work these totals becomes a part of my artists signature. This count is compiled and added to my previous works for a total accumulation. It is then printed and  spiked for a record of my total impression.

At the beginning of the opening at Serindia Galley, my total count since the 1st of August 2017 is 417608 lotus marks. The total number for this exhibition at Sarindia is 148913

bamboo pens​

What fun I had making these bamboo calligraphy pens. I found an old discarded piece of bamboo at home, grabbed a blade and cut it into a pen. The tip is thin and flexible. 

I do not use them in my lotus dot paining, but you can see examples of works that I have made using these pens.
Some pics below.

Sacred Ink - Lotus Art
SACRED INK - LOTUS ART


l o t u s - c o u n t s 
as of 21 December 2020
I've created a total of
535,165 lotus impressions


 

n e w s WINNER DIFFA CHICAGO International Artist Award

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