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The Ark
According to the Old Testament, Moses made the Ark of the Covenant from acacia wood covered with gold leaf. It was gorgeous and brilliant. But my image of the ark would have been a very simple box, with dull, dark, heavy, earthy colors. In 2004, the year that I made these works, many people around me were seriously ill. This made me pray harder for them, as well as for my family members. Through this experience my prayer became incarnated in my art. Every time I prayed for them, I saw some unusual vision, from which I knew what I should make. I took some soil from my garden and mixed it into my pigments. I also used garden herbs, pressing them onto the surface of the paintings. Every action became my prayer, my ceremony. This process reminded me of the Old Testament prophets, who when they heard God’s voice prophesied not only with words but also with symbolic actions. Every time I mixed the pigments with the medium made from the soil, and painted it on the panels, my prayer became deeper and deeper. This rectangular panel with earthy black and rusted silver color was a symbol of death. When I put the fresh herbs and pressed them onto the panel, this death was filled with the breath of life, which broke its power. At that time, I sent a prayerful message directed at the power of death: ”All of my family belong to the covenant of God. Would that this house, which is now filled by the spirit of death, might be filled with the breath of life.”

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