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Artist at work: Charwei Tsai

Inscribing the Spiral Incense Mantra

Friday, March 1, 2019
3:00 PM–5:00 PM
Free with Museum Admission

When a person makes an offering or writes or recites a mantra, they usually have a specific thought or aspiration in mind, implying an intention as well as a wish.

As part of her work in the exhibition The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel, Charwei Tsai will write the mantras of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) on spiral incense custom-made in Taiwan. The installation of the incense will connect the gallery with an exhibition on the floor below, Shrine Room Projects: Wishes and Offerings, which features Tsai’s video work showing a different instance of the inscribed incense burning. Offerings like burning incense play an important role in many cultures and are a consistent part of Buddhist practices.

Visit the Museum on March 1 to see the artist’s focused, contemplative labor in creating this work.

Support for Shrine Room Projects: Wishes and Offerings is made possible by Fred Eychaner, Ann and Matthew Nimetz, Christopher J. Fussner, Tulku Tsultrim Pelgyi, Lois and Bob Baylis, Audio-Technica, and contributors to the 2018 Exhibitions Fund.

The Power of Intention is supported by the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation. List in formation as of January 7, 2019.


About the Artist

Charwei Tsai (b. Taipei, 1980) lives and works in Taipei. She graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and from a postgraduate research program at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Highly personal yet universal concerns spur her multi”medium practice. Geographical, social, and spiritual motifs inform her work, which encourages viewer participation. Tsai meditates on the complexities among cultural beliefs, spirituality, and transience. She has had solo exhibitions in Paris, London, and Singapore, and has participated in exhibitions and biennials in Sydney, the Centre Pompidou, MoMA, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Her works are held in public and private collections including the Queensland Art Gallery, Mori Art Museum, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Yokohama Museum of Art, FRAC Lorraine, Kadist Foundation, Uli Sigg Collection, and Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen.

Free with Museum admission