In the long course of self-cultivation in life, it is very difficult to find inner tranquillity when all around is not tranquil, to know contentment when all around there is no contentment, and to know satisfaction when all around there is insufficiency. If one can know inner peace, contentment, and satisfaction, then one will naturally live a long and healthy life, and know the joy of sharing in Buddhist wisdom.
However, for an artist, intent on creating and filled with a powerful sense of purpose, sometimes an absence of tranquillity can become the potential for new ideas. To be never fully satisfied can promote constant reassessment. To know insufficiency and yet pursue completeness can turn failures into ultimate achievement. Sculptor Wu Ching is just such a person. His works are precise, exquisite, profound, rich in meaning, and inexhaustibly fascinating. Appreciating the refined skill of his works calls to mind the poem: "Deep in the mountains, through great effort it emerges/Tempered in fires, no detail is left unattended/Though my body turn to powder and bones to dust, I have no complaints/What I leave behind in the mundane world is unblemished" Wu's sculptures are here for eternity.
In his youth Wu focused on wood carving. Even as a young man he knew how to sharply observe nature as it really is. His carving technique is fiery and earnest; he became able to carve wood as transparent as the wings of a cicada, yet leave patterns and structures clearly visible. His refined skills and powers of observation are unique, and can be compared to a Zen state. He has used art to pursue self-cultivation with even more concentrated devotion and a more respectful nature. His works are filled with Zen wisdom and joy.
Not exhausted by wood carving, he courageously decided to transcend himself. He accepted the challenge of working in a new material of great difficulty and cost-pure gold-thus tasting life between the heat of the furnace and the coolness of the shaping of the metal. Despite the extraodinary sophistication in his work, he does not pursue the financial rewards of jewellry design. What he seeks is a state transcending the the practical and mundane. He seeks to express himself through his art, to demonstrate his creative ideals, and to find resonance with those who appreciate his work and who share concern for nature and treasure all life.
He deeply understands the nature of gold, and can invest it with inexhaustible life force. With his wood carving background as the foundation, and using his deep understanding of and profound concern for nature as the point of origin for his creative ideas, he brings to life every work created with his hands. His series of ant sculptures, which are most delightful, captures the essence of these creatures. His series of other insects-wasps, butterfies, cicadas-are at once dynamic and in repose, And his realistic melons and plants portray in rich detail the beauty of nature's growth and vitality.
It is not only his realistic pieces that impress and have substance. His expressive abstract realm is also moving. With his deep love of nature, like a soundless voice, he offers paradoxical questions and answers that cannot be explained. Of these works there are several which are Zen statements, including: Dtae With Dust, The Mystery of Life, Intersection of Sadness and Joy, and Zen, Meditation? From these one can see beyond his creative realm to Wu Ching's deep study of Buddhist thought, and his degree of dedication to the cultivation of mind and person. His craftsmanship is breathtaking, but even more, the spirit of his work is rich with melancholy and reflection, which is even more impressive than the physical beauty of the works themselves.
The material he shapes is gold, and the residue on his hands is gold. But in his heart, there is not gold but selfcultivation. Sculpting, free from distraction and hindrances, is like cultivating oneself in direct contact with the Buddha. When the space he reserves for inspired but patient reflection. With much hardship and over a long period of time, he has refined his creative works of art until his sculpting has now reached a higher state.
Many people are fond of gold, but few are they who make material serve them and do not serve material instead. With his uniquely exquisite art, Wu infuses inexhaustible life into his materials. Whatever medium he works in, the resulf is always a heart and mind to be treasured and admired. Escaping from the vulgarity of gold baubles and transcending mere practical objects, Wu gives people a wake-up call as clear as the sound of a monastery's morning gongs and drums. Through self-expression and through his work, he is making a spirtual appeal and a reminder.
To appreciate Wu Ching's art is to experience a resonance in one's heart. It inspires us to deeply think about, and work together to treasure, this earth, to love all living things, and to cultivate our natures in our souls. This must certainly be the thing which most gives our carver of gold peace of mind!