OM MANI PADME HUM // DUNEDIN PUBLIC ART GALLERY // 2016
ribbon // fair trade bells // Sound recording
This works draw on a variety of influences including Eastern spiritual beliefs, Jungian psychology and Modernism. For the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Singh has created a monumental installation blending a spectrum of coloured ribbon embellished with the Tibetan Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum in Tibetan script.
The ribbons are adorned with fair-trade bells, signifying Singh’s commitment to supporting cottage industry and her ongoing partnership with rural artisan communities in India. The inclusion of soft colour – a palette that includes magenta, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet is whitewashed to silvered pastels – the relationships and harmonies between the colours playing an important role in the work. As the tonal variations to reference the Terra Chakra, a positive flow of energy that grounds us and connects us to the earth Gaia. The mantra is gifted with the permission of Geshe Wangchen. When speaking about this mantra, the Dalai Lama of Tibet said:
“The first, OM, is composed of three pure letters, A, U, and M. These symbolize the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; they also symbolize the pure exalted body, speech and mind of a Buddha… MANI, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factor of method - the altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love… The two syllables, PADME, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom… Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable, HUM… Thus the six syllables, OM MANI PADME HUM, mean that in dependence on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”
- From a lecture given by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet at the Kalmuck Mongolian Buddhist Center, New Jersey. Transcribed by Ngawang Tashi (Tsawa), Drepung Loseling, MUNGOD, INDIA.
*An audio recording of the mantra accompanied the exhibition