In a new solo exhibition of sculptural work, Owen Leong draws on Taoist philosophies to explore the idea of original nature. A person’s original mind exists prior to cultural conditioning. Reconnecting with original nature involves emptying the self, until we arrive at an awareness unclouded by habitual thoughts, emotions and memories.
Original Nature explores selfhood through cycles of regeneration and decay. Leong uses personal mythologies to describe creation and obliteration of the self through artistic processes of casting, destroying, assembling and recasting. These sculptures show the body as landscape: human faces merge with mountain forms, while crystals and mushrooms grow from arms and hands. Through a contrasting language of man-made and natural materials – concrete, bronze, steel, marble dust, jadeite, quartz crystal, beeswax – these works symbolise the journey towards original nature, to experience a deeper awareness within everyday consciousness.