“Wander alone like a rhinoceros”
Media: Wood, acrylic, and gold leaf
Size: About 60×40cm
In Chapter I, The Snake Chapter of The Suttanipāta, there is a passage called “rhinoceros horn”, and like “wandering alone like a rhinoceros – without greed, deceit, thirst, hypocrisy – illusions & murkiness blown away, with no deep-rooted delusions about the world”, the phrase “wander alone like a rhinoceros” is repeated at the end of each short verse. It is said that the image of a rhinoceros, with a single horn, walking quietly by itself in the forests of India, is superimposed with that of a trainee monk who leaves everything behind and travels alone with only the Buddhist teachings.
To me, this chapter sounds like a cheering song for us who live in this present moment. I understood that the song can be interpreted as a teaching for us, who get locked into a constricted life with overflowing information and complicated relationships including SNS in recent years, telling how to follow their own path to live. We can also be considered as trainee monks who walk alone, taking control of the solitary self, as we walk through the rough waves of society.
A trainee monk who hasn’t been spiritually awakened yet is called Bodhisattva (a Buddhist saint). I expressed a sitting rhinoceros clad in a gold robe on a lotus pedestal – it usually walks alone. For its halo, I drew along the annual rings in which the tree records its history.
When I draw on a piece of wood, I consider compositions that can bring out the characteristics of each type of wood, that is one-of-a-kind, such as the color, annual rings, etc. Specially, I create works focusing on “one time, one encounter” with each material.