Monday, December 5, 2011

Simply Perfect

so here's the description of the art I'm making (12/06-12/12/11) for the event sponsored by Patrón tequila (

for those who can't make it in person, I hope you will in spirit. :)

thanks for being a light!

a. :)

Felix Coeli Porta -天灯

In contemplation of the idea of “Simple Perfection” and that “Generosity cannot be re-gifted”, Felix Coeli Porta -天灯 developed. When completed, the installation will consist of 108 lanterns made with repurposed fabrics, hand-selected and dyed into different shades of red.

The numbers 1, 0 and 8 individually represent one thing, nothing and everything; 108 refers to the ultimate reality of the universe. It is an abundant number and a semi-perfect number in mathematics. There are 108 beads in a Buddhist mala (prayer beads), in addition to many references in other religions and traditions (e.g. 108 names of god in Hinduism and 108 virtues in Jainism.) It is believed that a total of 108 energy lines converge to form the heart chakra.

Red, in Chinese culture, is traditionally an auspicious color, representing happiness, blessings and good luck. The use of repurposed materials in art is my attempt to intervene in the process of consumerism and its effect on society and the environment.

Felix coeli porta, “Happy Heaven’s Gate”, is a line from Ave, Maris Stella, a plainsong hymn to Mary used during Vespers (evening services). 天灯 means “sky lanterns”, transliteration: “heaven’s lights”. In the past, before electricity, lanterns were used to light spaces, to guide the way, so one could see. Now, they illuminate temples as a symbol of brightness and enlightenment. Meanwhile, once released as communication in war, sky lanterns now carry felicity and wishes into heavens during celebrations and religious ceremonies.

Without light, we live in darkness; the 108 red lanterns form a tribute to the people who have made this city beautiful, inspired me and supported my art. They also represent the light of hope and love - my wishes of a bright future, for everyone.

ATYL, 2011

The paintings inspired by the installation will be available in an on-line auction (, with proceeds supporting the Chicago Artists’ Coalition ( For 37 years, CAC has been at the forefront of artist advocacy, providing a bridge between artists and the communities in which they live and work. It is CAC’s mission to educate the public on the value of art in society while providing support, advocacy, and professional development to artists in our community.

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