Enlightened ExhibitionGAMBIER, Ohio (October 21, 2011)
A 21st century reimagining of medieval Buddhist poems in images and words comes to the Graham Gund Gallery on Saturday, October 29.
"Oxherding" combines the work of New York-based artist Max Gimblett and Lewis Hyde, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. The exhibition features ten sumi ink paintings by Gimblett and three different English translations of classic Chinese poems by Hyde. The poems accompany the Ten Oxherding Pictures from Song Dynasty China. The free exhibition continues through March 4.
The exhibition is enhanced by a series of related lectures and workshops planned for October and November.
The exhibition "presents a parable about the conduct of Buddhist practice," Hyde said. The drawings and poems in the series depict a young herder in pursuit of a lost ox. He tracks his ox, finds it, and rides it home. The ox, a metaphor, then disappears. At the conclusion of the series, the ox herder has achieved enlightenment and returned to his village with a sack, entering with gift-giving hands, Hyde said.
The project has been a six-year collaboration with Gimblett, Hyde said. "The 'Oxherding' events will offer many insights - into traditional Japanese sumi ink drawing, into the puzzles of translating from Chinese into English, and into Buddhist spiritual practice as it is reflected in this modern version of an ancient parable," he said.
These free events provide insight into the exhibition and its meaning:
· October 29, 2:00 p.m. Gimblett will discuss "Oxherding and Lewis Hyde" at the gallery Community Foundation Theater.
· November 5, 4:00 p.m. Hyde will present "The Cicada at the Gate: A Talk on the Buddhist 'Oxherding' Parable" in the gallery.
· November 15, 11:10 a.m. Professor of Religious Studies Joseph Adler will discuss "Chan/Zen, the Oxherding Pictures, and the World-Affirming Turn in Chinese Buddhism" at the gallery theater.
· November 17, 5:00 p.m. Gallery talk with Hyde and Gimblett.
· November 18, 4:00 p.m. Sumi ink workshop with Gimblett at the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Buchwald Center, 211 S. Main St., Mount Vernon (RSVP required via email@example.com).
· November 19, 10:00 a.m. Sumi ink workshop with Gimblett at the Nazarene Buchwald Center (RSVP required via firstname.lastname@example.org).
To learn more about the exhibition and the events, contact the gallery at 740-427-5972 and visit www.gundgallery.org.