It is estimated that up to 300 people are injured or killed by
landmines in Afghanistan every month—the highest rate in
the world. More than 800 square kilometers of residential area,
commercial land, roads, irrigation systems, and primary production
land are littered with mines and unexploded ordnance. All of
the royalties from Get Your War On (Soft Skull Press, 2002) and
Get Your War On II (Riverhead Books, 2004) help support the Mine
Detection & Dog Center Team #5 as they continue to work on
clearance projects in western Afghanistan in the first and vital
steps towards reconstruction. See www.mnftiu.cc for more information.
David Rees is also the author of My New Fighting Technique
Is Unstoppable (Riverhead Books, 2003) and My New Filing
Technique Is Unstoppable (Riverhead Books, 2004).
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Chenrezig Buddha of
Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala
From Friday through Sunday, January 21-23, 2005,
the Venerable Tenzin Yignyen will construct a Tibetan Buddhist
sand mandala at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence
University. He will also present a “Teaching and Meditation
on Compassion” in the Gallery on Saturday, January 22
at 7:30 p.m.
For three weeks in the spring of 1999, Tenzin constructed an
elaborate Kalachakra Mind mandala at St. Lawrence University.
This year, for three days only, he will construct a Chenrezig
mandala based on the Tibetan Buddhist deity of compassion.
Also known in Sanskrit as Avalokiteshvara, Chenrezig is the
manifestation of the infinite compassion of all Buddhas. His
Holiness the Dalai Lama is understood to be the living incarnation
of this deity.
A sand mandala is a complex, symbolic representation of the
cosmos and is used as a tool in meditation and visualization
in order to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient
beings. According to Sidney Piburn and Tenzin Yignyen, “each
mandala is a sacred mansion, the home of a particular deity
who represents and embodies enlightened qualities such as wisdom
or compassion. Both the deity, who resides at the center of
the mandala, and the mandala itself are recognized as pure
expressions of a Buddha’s fully enlightened mind.”
Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and scholar, writes
that mandalas “transform our ordinary perception of the
world into a pure perception of the Buddha-nature which permeates
all phenomena. Compassion is born from the realization that
both the individual ‘self’ and the appearances
of the phenomenal world are devoid of any intrinsic reality.
To misconstrue the infinite display of illusory appearances
as permanent entities is ignorance, which results in suffering.
An enlightened being—that is, one who has understood
the ultimate nature of all things—naturally feels boundless
compassion for those who, under the spell of ignorance, are
wandering and suffering in samsara [the endless cycle of existence].
From similar compassion, one does not aim for one’s own
liberation alone, but vows to attain Buddha-hood in order to
gain the capacity to free all sentient beings from the suffering
inherent in samsara.”
Tenzin Yignyen was born in Phari, Tibet, in 1953. He is an
ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk who received a Master of Sutra
and Tantra Studies in 1985 from the Namgyal Monastery of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. After two years
in Mongolia in 1993-94, Tenzin taught Tibetan Buddhism, sacred
and ritual arts, and language at the Namgyal branch monastery
in Ithaca, New York. He has since created sand mandalas in
museums and educational institutions throughout the United
States, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Natural
History Museum of Los Angeles, the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery,
and the Asia Society in New York City. Tenzin is currently
a visiting professor of Tibetan Buddhist art and philosophy
at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.
These Tibetan Buddhist programs are co-sponsored by the University
Chaplain’s office as part of a “Fortnight of Non-Violent
Events” from January 17 (the commemoration of Martin
Luther King, Jr.’s birthday) through January 30 (the
anniversary of Gandhi’s assassination and the date of
the upcoming elections in Iraq). During this two-week period,
a series of lectures, films, discussions, and other activities
are scheduled to highlight nonviolent ideas and actions from
a variety of disciplines and faiths.
At 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 18, 2005,
Tenzin will conduct a dismantling ceremony which will be followed
by a walk to the river. For more information, please contact
Cathy Tedford, Gallery Director,
at 315 229-5174.
“The mandala is dismantled in order to
demonstrate the truth of impermanence and so that the sand,
which as been made sacred, might be distributed to onlookers
and put into the environment (typically, a body of moving water)
as a blessing. The monks lead a procession, which may be a
pond or lake, but in order that the blessing of the sand extend
as far as possible, the ocean, or a river leading to the ocean.
The monks ask the protective spirits of the water to accept
the blessed sand and to protect the inhabitants of the local
-Daniel Cozort, The Sand Mandala of Vajrabhairava
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Drawings and Prints by Alicia Giuliani
Where Are My Ruby Slippers?, 2004,
Sharpie drawings on Solarplate prints
Upon graduation from St. Lawrence University in 2004 with a degree
in fine arts, Alicia Giuliani is the program director at the Adirondack
Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, where
she organizes rotating exhibitions, concerts, and other events
and activities. As a student, Alicia approached most every task
or project, even the most unlikely Web site (“I LOVE www.orangecountychoppers.com!”),
on a continuum somewhere between enthusiastic and obsessive, documenting,
for example, in all her favorite Sharpie colors—pinks, reds,
black—each of the 24 hours of her recent 21st birthday, as
well as a whirlwind trip to New York City (highlighted by a “really
good” honey chicken dinner at Applebee’s in Times Square)
to return a Tibetan Buddhist monk to his brother.
One late winter night, the three of us spent a few hours googlewhacking,
playing a variation of the online game where we entered three disparate
terms on the search engine in order to come up with results that “did
not match any documents” (einstein-cattywampus-google; hefner-eyelash-hepatic;
and endometriosis-heinous-mandala). It’s harder (or easier?)
than you think. “Curious,” Alicia would say, like an
all-knowing Cheshire cat.
Her most recent work depicts icons of girlish femininity: tiaras,
diamond rings, a princess in a burning castle, flippy evening dresses
and fancy shoes, bras and underwear—images (and content)
she culls from the unreality of women’s fashion magazines.
Her process is fast and sure; she doesn’t waver in this weird
juxtaposition of aggressive girlie-ness. Yet despite her unflinching
self-assurance and feisty self-awareness, Alicia explores deeply
personal issues in her life with humor and humility.
-Cathy Tedford and Carole Mathey
(a.k.a. “The Art Ladies”)
Chameleon, Sharpie drawings on paper
“What I’m interested in at the time
is what my work is about” is a comment I wrote in my
journal last spring that applies to my recent drawings and
prints. The work in this exhibition is comparable to a visual
journal, inspired by and made for specific people in my life,
in which I challenge the probability of normalcy in personal
relationships. I attempt to fabricate tangible statements and,
through the use of layering and multiples, form more nuanced
meanings. A monochromatic palette is vital, and I use the color
pink specifically to suggest notions of happiness, delight,
love and passion. Upon closer inspection, however, the color
pink can also elicit feelings of annoyance, confusion, humiliation,
resentment, anger, jealousy, or even aggression, and I like
seeing seemingly innocent subjects turn malicious. I use Sharpies
exclusively because they are so consistent, allowing me to
create the same types of marks throughout a body of work. They
can also be used on a wide range of materials such as packing
tape, bubble wrap, metal, Plexi, and mirrors.
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Incongruent: Contemporary Art
from South Korea
Kim Yong-tae (rephotographed by Kim Young-soo,
from the Dongduchon Photograph Salons, 1984, digital print
Incongruent brings together nine artists from South
Korea, with the exception of Yong Soon Min, a Korean-American artist
based in Los Angeles. The participants include two artists closely
associated with Min Joong (people’s art), a cultural and
political movement of the 1980s. They are juxtaposed with five
younger artists who work in conceptual and performance-based photography,
videos and Web-based projects. The link between the generations
lies in the artists’ investigations of the visible and pervasive
forces of modernity in Korea and in their critical reception of
western cultures, as they examine the presence of the United States
and scrutinize the division of the Korean peninsula. The works
in this exhibition present South Korea’s hybrid material
culture as a direct result of international politics related to
the Cold War and globalization, or more appropriately, what is
known as glocalization.
In terms of strategy, the artists share an understanding
of the importance of everyday experience and conceptual apparatus
the studio. For example, Kim Yong-tae’s photographs of U.S.
soldiers and their Korean spouses were found in commercial photo
salons near the U.S. Army base in Seoul. Kim’s rearrangement
of the photographs reveals how they operate on a personal level
based on the concrete pursuit of happiness, just as they testify
to the power dynamics between two nations and their peoples, and
how the complex is often situated in the mundane.
Through his paintings Spring Rain Descending a Staircase and Mondrian Hotel,
Joo Jae-hwan criticizes the tendency among South Korean artists
to imitate western
modernism. Deviant yet aligned with the iconoclastic gestures of
Duchamp and Warhol, Joo’s work parodies a South Korean social
hierarchy determined by military power, material wealth and elitism.
Just as the work of these senior artists is subversive
in nature, there is also something oddly incongruent in the other
Koh Seung-wook’s performance-based photographic project is
an absurd, ephemeral, seemingly insignificant happening, but it
addresses the fundamental nature and values of artistic activity
and industrial production. In his series Playing in the Vacant
Lot, Koh digs a hole in frozen ground and plays naked in it,
sometimes with a swimming tube, other times drinking alcohol. He
at odds with the Korean national fervor to work hard, produce and
achieve in a never-ending struggle for economic prosperity. Koh’s
performance is not a reflection of hedonism; rather, his mundane
routine is actively anti-art and anti-commodity. In an empty piece
of land sitting idle, his intervention questions the global frenzy
of economic development.
Among the participants, Yong Soon Min is
the only artist who can legally travel to North Korea. In her video
North Korean women dancing to celebrate the “victory” of
the re-election of Kim Jung-Il to the parliament. They are superimposed
onto the portraits of die-hard communists appropriated from North
Korean stamps, individuals who were imprisoned in South Korea for
their refusal to renounce their loyalty to the North Korean leader
Kim Il-Sung. The joyous movement of the dancers evokes a funereal
commemoration of these victims of ideologies.
Jo Seub, No Title
still frame from single-channel video with sound
Jo Seub, through his re-enactment of violence and
repressed adolescent sexuality, interrogates the uncomfortable
collective memory of
his generation who grew up during the oppressive military regime
endorsed by the United States. Yoon Joo-kyung makes a futile
attempt to claim the Wild West by holding a red flag at Monument
Arizona, the backdrop of John Ford’s movies. Kim Sang-gil
presents images that are simultaneously calm and confident, yet
sharply disturbing. In one picture, a man talks on his cellular
phone at a traditional gazebo in Seoul, precariously balanced
atop a rocky hill with a vast view of the urban landscape. Other
reveal private Internet communities who gather to flaunt their
Harley Davidsons, Burberry dresses, and mobile homes.
Kim Sang-gil, Anycall, 2001, C-print
In his video Power Passage, Park Chan-kyong investigates the disparity
in the power and ideology during the Cold War era by juxtaposing
the much-publicized, spectacular linkup of the U.S. Apollo and
the Soviet Soyuz spacecrafts in 1975, along with North Korea’s
underground tunnel across the DMZ to invade South Korea. Finally,
in his Web-based projects, Roh Jae Oon demonstrates the notion
of incongruency through the dissonance between narrative voice-over
and image, as well as the disjunction between what is addressed
and what is implied. In Three Open Up, for example, the voice narrative
describes a South Korean delegation’s tour of North Korean
pig farms, while shots from U.S. satellites reveal North Korean
nuclear weapons construction and launching sites.
-Young Min Moon
assistant professor of fine arts and exhibition curator
Special thanks to a grant from
the Freeman Foundation to St. Lawrence University’s Asian
Studies Initiative and to the Jeanne Scribner Cashin Endowment
for Fine Arts.
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Barnes Endowment Annual Juried
Student Art Exhibition
All St. Lawrence students are eligible
to enter up to four works of art in any media on Tuesday, April
5 from noon to 5:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, April 6 from 10:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. The exhibition will open on Wednesday, April 13 at
7:00 p.m. featuring live music with Blue Clover. Please join us!
The exhibition is juried by Ana Rewakowicz, a Montreal-based
artist and researcher who works with inflatables and explores relations
between temporal, portable architecture, the body, and the
The exhibition is supported by the Carlyle and Betty Barnes
Endowment and the Jeanne Scribner Cashin Endowment for Fine Arts.
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Common Threads: Textile Production in India
Photographs by Alexander Verron ’05
Rug production at Anandwan leprosy community, 2004
During the fall of 2004, I traveled by bus, train,
moped, horse, bicycle, camel, elephant and rickshaw across India
to conduct a photo documentary research project on textile production.
From the glacial source of the Ganges River in the Himalayas to
Muslim neighborhoods in Varanasi and commercial districts in Jaipur
in the middle of the desert near the border of Pakistan, I photographed
textile workers in rug factories, cotton mills, power loom production
sites and private homes. I was conscious to photograph people at
their own physical level, often sitting on the floor right next
to them in order to avoid creating images that would present any
perception of superiority on my part. I also found it ironic that
in a country radiating with sunlight, I typically photographed
in dark, cramped spaces using minimal natural light.
The Jeanne Scribner Cashin Endowment for Fine Arts provided film
and equipment for this project.
Monday-Thursday 12-8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12-5 p.m.
All exhibitions and related educational programs
are free and open to the public. The
Gallery welcomes individuals and groups for guided tours; please
call (315) 229-5174 for information.