Bodhisattwa and the Joy of Life (part 1)

October 2, 2008

I’d like to show you some more of my wood carvings. Although I am currently mainly painting and not carving the work on wood has helped me tremendously to develop my painting style of today. Sounds funny? No – because if you work on sculptures and other 3-dimensional objects you learn to see in different directions. You get a feeling for detail. I love working on details because they are the essentials which a make a piece of work interesting and adventurous. The viewer has to discover things otherwise s/he will get bored. This would be the death of an artwork.

There are many different possibilities to attract the viewer. Sometimes it is an interesting texture or pattern, sometimes it’s the colour that changes depending on the light, sometimes it is the story told and sometimes it is an unusual composition of opposing objects and forms etc.

My wood carvings are opulent and a wild feast of forms and ornaments, something that the viewer is supposed to discover by viewing its details and touching it. Yes – touching. It is a wonderful feeling to run fingers over a smooth piece of wood which is warm and full of round forms. It is nearly like an erotic feeling. Don’t laugh but did you ever touch an old wooden entrance door, one of those which are heavily carved with really big brass knuckles? It is a wonderful feeling. And aren’t senses involved when the subject is art? No art comes to life without the senses…

But back to the work. Now how does this look like?

77″ x 69″ x 10″, 30 kg

This is only the representational photo but I am going to show you the details and how it was created. You will be astonished when you hear that this polyptych once was several simple pine wood boards, meticulously chosen for their grain but nevertheless simple boards.

Inspiration came from the figures of the Thai/Indian mythology which are strongly affiliated to the legends of the Buddhism. The vivid tales of the southeast Asian countries, which are presented with so many human characteristics, virtues and sins, are reminiscent of the fairy tales of our western childhood. Nevertheless they are different. Our fairy tales have an end with our childhood but the legends you learn about in the Ramayana, in the Mahabharata or in the epic Ramakien have become part of the Hindu and/or Buddhist belief (and superstition). They are much more than a simple fairy tale, they have become a kind of guideline for the daily life. Even today. Especially when it is about preserving the virtues of man and woman.

Part of this scenario of a world full of gods and goddesses is an ornamental design that reflects a stylized but opulent “growing” flora which is so typical for tropical regions. But this is only one of the attractions westerners from northern countries feel for the warmer parts of the world.



Maybe it is more than the exotic aura that people feel attracted to – it is often the longing for a joy of life that northern people miss in daily life due to lack of sunlight. During long winter months when the days are only grey and dull, when the cold creeps into your bones you are dying for a little sunlight. The tropical regions of this planet promise to deliver this in abundance and seem to be the paradise for this reason…






So the conclusion is not only to travel to the countries of paradisaical promises but also to surround oneself with those things which are reminiscent of happy times and a good feeling.

And maybe the appropriate artwork helps to remember a different lifestyle, a different attitude to see things and to get rid of the narrow viewpoints of a western life full of pressure and hectic. Even if it gives you only a little time-out of your daily life, a few moments of relaxation and day dreaming…





One Response to “Bodhisattwa and the Joy of Life (part 1)”

  1. ayie Says:

    You have such wonderful hands and very creative mind! Very gifted and truly artistic! Great works! It’s such a pleasure that you complimented my blog. When i saw your blogs, I was all “wow”.

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