We are honored to have been chosen as one of the honoraria pieces within the Circle of Regional Effigies at Burning Man this year. This installation will be constructed by a team with roots in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, making it one of the first Asian collaborative installations to appear on the open playa, and will be enjoyed by all of Burning Man and beyond. More than an elegant sculpture to be burned in the desert, it also represents an opportunity for transnational collaboration and community building.
"Enlightenment 悟" will be a wooden meditating man over 16’ high sitting atop a lotus flower base. The structure will be large enough for people to enter, allowing approximately seven people sitting cross-legged in a semi-circle to fit comfortably inside. The lotus flower will be constructed from a wooden frame accented with cloth petals, featuring designs produced by people across the diaspora. LED ribbon lights will illuminate the edges--one circling the interior of the alcove, and the other on the outside, below the lotus petals.
Inside the man will be a heartbeat sensor that viewers can attach to a finger, which will connect to the LED light controller. The sensor will detect the viewer’s pulse, and the lights will pulse synchronously with the viewer’s heartbeat. Incense and offerings will be placed and burned inside and around the man by Burning Man event participants, and will also be shipped by participants from China, Taiwan and elsewhere who are unable to physically join us on the playa.
“Enlightenment” will offer participants a beautiful space to gather, meditate, reflect, and connect.
"Enlightenment" showcases a meditating man achieving nirvana, an icon for release from the cycles of suffering and rebirth. Enlightenment is an ideal end state, and the Bodhisattva Vow is one that aims for the enlightenment of all of humanity. Thus, we wish our collaborators and viewers to achieve this upon the burning of the effigy. This act of meditation was chosen to represent our Asian diaspora, as it is simple enough to represent a peaceful practice widespread throughout the region, detached from any specific religious or political institutions, yet still open-ended enough to permit personal interpretation.
About the Artists
Participants include engineers, designers, builders, scholars, artists, and organizers from across the Chinese, Taiwanese, and burner diaspora.
Our goal is to raise enough money to construct this art experience for tens of thousands of people to enjoy on the playa at Burning Man, while simultaneously raising awareness, appreciation, and engagement with the cultures of China, Taiwan, and the broader region.
The amount we’re looking to raise is merely a fraction of what will be needed in total for all the costs of the materials, supplies, workshop space, towing service, etc. The following breakdown should give you an idea of what we will be using the funds for:
- $1200: Wood materials (50+ plywood sheets, 300 ft of lumber, and screws)
- $1000: Truck rental from San Francisco, CA to BlackRock City, NV for roundtrip towing
- $700: Programmable LED lights
- $600: Kickstarter Backer Prizes
- $500: Workshop space and tools
- $100: Cloth for lotus petals in addition to community-sourced portion
- $100: Interior lamps, decor
Our $2,000 goal is conservative and accounts for just the bare materials. We would be honored to receive your contribution and participation in this gift from a region that has been underrepresented in our community. Please show your support and help us take this project to the next level! THANK YOU!!!
Risks and challenges
This project involves a lot of planning and execution, and we have a solid team to undertake it. However, we still face the challenges of building, material sourcing, financing and fundraising. In addition, we will also face the challenges of transporting the pre-fabrication from San Francisco to the playa, as well as risks during on-site construction in the elements of the harsh playa and risks inherent to the burn perimeter crew during the burning of this effigy. This will be a difficult and challenging process, but we accept all the risks and costs associated in reward for the implementation of our artistic vision.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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