Reading Zen in the Rocks, 2016
bronze and fibreglass with liquid bronze coating
7 parts, 1,100 x 2,400 x variable mm
Reading Zen in the Rocks merges the myth of the Zen Garden and mid-century modernism, specifically the work of American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Noguchi’s Lessons of Musokokushi, 1962 a bronze garden of flat bottomed rocks are a source with the handmade Akari paper lampshades that he designed in the 1950s and which have since become an industrially produced domestic product. However, in Reading Zen in the Rocks the garden rocks have been inverted. In contrast to their bronze appearance only the top elements, the flat replica Akari, are cast. Yet the shape alludes to the concentric arcs around rocks in a traditional raked zen sand garden. The counter-intuitive inverting of materials–light-weight and humble in place of weighty and expensive–with the negation of the practical role of the shades suggests Guy’s interest in finding new possibilities in modern art and design for contemporary life.