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Air (elements)

October 19, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


“The ‘Theory of the Five Element’ is simply an observation of natural, creative changes; and it is the natural world confirming that all forces and energies in nature can be in constant smooth and harmonious transition from one phase to another – just as one season ‘becomes’ the next” -Nationsonline.org

Artists: Jarrod Beck, Kate M. Blomquist, Cat Glennon, Katte Geneta, Nicolas Holiber, Adam Lupton, Erik Otto, Sui Park

Curator: Portia Makoma

Elements are fundamental to the existence and well-being of the Earth and spirit.

The Western world describes the ‘classic’ elements (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire) as different energies or patterns in nature on Earth. Ancient Chinese philosophy believes the elements consist of Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal. Air is omitted.

While the ‘classic’ elements are believed to be natural materials or qualities, Chinese philosophy considers the five elements to be energy. Their philosophy focuses on process and change–their elements are in a constant state of interaction and flow with each other.

Through nature-inspired, process-driven works, fusing ‘classic’ and Chinese beliefs, Air (Elements) explores the flow and interaction of elements as well as the dynamic shift which occurs when air is included as a sixth element.

The doctrine of five phases (elements) describes two cycles of balance between the phases (see below for the breakdown of each cycle): a “generating” or “creation” cycle and an “overcoming” or “destruction” cycle.

Generating/Creation Cycle
Wood feeds fire;
Fire creates earth (ash);
Earth bears metal;
Metal collects water;
Water nourishes wood.

Overcoming/Desctruction Cycle
Wood parts earth;
Earth absorbs water;
Water quenches fire;
Fire melts metal;
Metal chops wood.

The layout of the artists’ work is based off the latter, “Overcoming Cycle.”


October 19, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm