Some sacred Buddhist texts are organized according to numerical sequence, and indeed, we incorporate standard phrases such as seventh (or highest) heaven from Islam and the Cabala, while eight happinesses from Chinese lore reflects love, virtue, gentleness, tolerance, loyalty, truth, beauty and devotion.
Astrological numbering systems, such as months, tend to be in based on 12, while with clocks and time both 12 and 60 are standard units.In Cambodia the basic counting system is based on units of 5, not 10. 5 and 1 equals 6, while 10 and 5 and 1 means 16.
I title each of my paintings based on the total of lotus embossed stamps on each piece, and I include the exact number as part of my artistís signature.
My lotus works may easily consist of a minimum of 10,000 lotus stalk impressions, and more. I incorporate these elements of counting into the lotus art. The result looks a bit like the bespoke marks of an haute couturierís pattern, which again is fitting as I began my career designing and sewing clothes in Australia and selling them at local markets.
A single mark is important. A compound of individual marks is required to create the whole, the mass. Without the individual there can be no completion of beauty. One is one, but when two appears this is the start of a movement. With two marks, my work begins to take on new flow. Three becomes more, and more is required for the waves and flows to ebb then re-appear in-front of our eyes.
A piece of white paper has nothing on it. It is the same as the emptiness of the space or the vacuum within an atom. But the vacuum is not nothing as it has the power of creation.
I instill my works with love, will and emotion. The space between the electrons and the nucleus of an atom also has the same power of love, will and emotion. One electron, two electrons three and more, has a power of creation. Looking at a blank piece of paper I first see an idea for the art in front of myself. And with the first lotus mark the power has started at one. With two, the direction starts to form from the vacuum of blankness. The unseen has immense and unending power. Let the art work its own creation, as I am counting the unseen into being.
I find the last line of inking is the most fulfilling time in the creation of my art. It is the completion of the work that I conceptualized so early on. Now, for the first time, the power has come into being and the vibration of the work has fully appeared. The emotions start to form. The finished work has vibrated into existence.
There ís joy in repeating painstaking patterns over and over in my inked lotus works. With myriad individual markings, I create a existence from nothingness. As for my love of numbers, these reinforce my craft.
Each stamp is unique, as the paper absorbs every lotus marking differently. Each stem is individual, varying in size, thickness, absorption and sometimes even numbers of holes. Using the stalk as a paintbrush the initial embossments are darkest, and what eventually remains are faint impressions with ever-decreasing ink fading into nothingness. Each painting emerges like a lotus flower, every line unfolding one after another.