The mind of the everyday in contemporary fine art and Zen Buddhist practice

Pok, Chong Boon (2011) The mind of the everyday in contemporary fine art and Zen Buddhist practice. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Since the beginning of the 20th century, contemporary art has been saturated with references to the everyday and there are a mass of available views addressing the subject by profound social thinkers such as Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau and Agnes Heller. Towards the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the new millennium, scholars and writers such as Helen Westgeest, Alexandra Munroe, Arthur C. Danto, Jacquelynn Baas and Mary Jane Jacob began researching the relationship between Western art and Zen. Among these views, an Eastern perspective is lacking, particularly in relation to Zen Buddhist practice of the everyday. The aim of this research is to make a comparative study of the mind of the everyday in contemporary fine art and Zen Buddhist practice, including in art-making from the beginning of the 20th century to recent contemporary fine art practice and understanding, from the West and the East, as represented within, and integral to, my art practice. This research emerged from my personal experience and discoveries as an artist working from a Buddhist background. It adopts reflective qualitative research methods and theory grounded in practice and observed experiences. The core of the research is my studio practice with the theoretical framework operating in the intersection of personal and social perspectives. I situated this enquiry within my own cultural background, the context of Zen Buddhism and its teachings. It developed an enhanced understanding of the everyday in contemporary fine art and Zen Buddhist practice in new and original ways, through bringing forward and integrating the physical and theoretical components of my studio practice.The everyday in my studio practice refers to things we encounter day-in and day-out that we are unlikely to give a second thought, like background noise, we hear it but hardly pay any attention to it. The thesis explored the understanding of Beginner's Mind, the spirit of attentiveness, the idea of the circle, art and meditation, it-is-ness, the relativity of things, "nothingness" and the entanglement of art and life as they revolve around my studio practice, all of which have a connection with Zen Buddhist practice of the everyday. This research serves as both territory expansion and to provide new sources for the `art world' and Zen Buddhists, offering a more balanced understanding of the concepts of the everyday in contemporary fine art and Zen Buddhist practice. Extended study may also be made in connection with psychoanalysis, and the cultural significance of food, cooking and eating in the Far East.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: uk.bl.ethos.540605
Uncontrolled Keywords: contemporary art; mind; everyday; Western art; Zen Buddhist practice; art-making; art practice
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 11:32
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 11:32
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7510

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