reflective, meditative, and contemplative practices in physical forms
A void can be used to describe empty space in both a physical and a metaphysical context. When fully committed to the meditative experience, a practitioner experiences a trance-like state of deep concentration that is completely devoid of mental churning. This metaphysical void has been translated by Okashimo’s works into a spatial void within the physical environment. The open forms in many of the sculptures centres the focus on the void and then back to the defining mass of stone. This back-and-forth interaction from void to surrounding mass is a dynamic dialogue between the viewer and the work that encourages contemplation on the connected but contrasting nature of both being and non-being.
To be conscious of one’s own breathing and the repetition of the in-breath and the out-breath of air into one’s body is a concentration technique in meditation. This seemingly never-ending cycle of breathing creates a notion that things are without end, giving the feeling that everything continues and nothing is finished. In addition, one may note that a pause exists between every inhalation and exhalation. These pauses create a sense of ‘moment-ness’ between each instance of repetition. Thus, there is a significant correlation between the rhythm of an individual’s breathing and the process of altering stone - through sawing, chiseling, and polishing - in the creation of Okashimo's works.
All aspects of our perceived existence are, without exception, transient and inconstant. This impermanence is often expressed through the use of stone in many of Okashimo’s works. Stone is a material which facilitates the expression of two polarities, stillness and transformation. The artist’s interaction with many of the pieces expresses the breaking down or dematerialization of the previously inert stone. This involves an intervention on the stone to be fractured, offset, cut, disjointed, or eroded over time. The result is a combination of calm and continuity in the sculptures, and this provokes the viewer to experience “moment-ness” by realizing the transient nature of space and time.
A critical concept that must be fully recognized and understood if one is to have a deeper understanding of life. As every aspect of life is created from a balanced interaction of opposite and competing forces, one realizes that these forces are not just opposites but - more importantly - complementary.