JIMMY ONG: PORTABLE PRAYER

-- An installation and drawings by Singapore born New York artist

Plum Blossoms Gallery, New York

27 September - 26 October 2002

[EK0083]

Study for Hungry Ghosts I (Shrines)

2002
Charcoal on paper
106.7cm x 142cm

In "Portable Prayer", the artist explores the ritual of personal emancipation through the medium of the Personal Computer. The viewer is invited to enter a tent-like collapsible shrine in the shape of a hulu, bottle-gourd. The Hulu Shrine, which is intended for installation outdoors and in difficult urban settings, is a makeshift temple that facilitates the private act of "connectivity" with a greater consciousness, the Internet. In the gallery setting, light play makes it appear that the person seated inside is a part of the Shrine. Once inside the Shrine and seated before a computer terminal, the viewer is invited to input his/her prayer, which is in turn "encrypted" in a language of the viewer's choice. The encrypted prayer is posted in real time onto the website portableprayer.org and woven together with other prayers on a quilt-like webpage. After a period of 49 days, the prayer is emancipated by a program "blessed" in real time by a religious elder. The artist hopes the viewer will access the project from home, where the home computer then becomes a potential space for spiritual renewal.

[EK0081]

Night Geranium

2002
Charcoal on paper
100.5cm x 70cm