• 24 Feb 2022

  • SAM at Tanjong Pagar Distripark

  • 7:30 PM

Tantric Buddhism and Visual Culture

In this workshop Farhan Idris explored how mandalas are radical "roadmaps" of visual organisation. In art spaces and art curation, tropes about "re-envisioning the world" are usually suggested as rhetorical devices. Farhan Idris will offer a “re-envisioning” of the mandala by connecting vision, body, and the cosmos all at once. 

Firstly exploring definitions of mandala drawn from Hindu-Buddhist Tantric philosophy. Second, refuting descriptions or characterisations of mandalas as merely “diagrams” of the Buddhist cosmos stemming from Orientalist discourses. Third, grappling with mandalas directly by revisiting the philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s work on the painter Francis Bacon. Finally, attempting to re-envision the mandala by initiating the corporal body through mudras (Sanskrit: gestures) that intervene into the world, and mantras as words that shapes the cosmos. 
Farhan Idris will drew upon iconic mandalas in Japanese Buddhism, the work of Nepalese artist Tsherin Sherpa, the artistic movement called "new tantrism" in 1950’s Bengal, India and the writings of the aesthetician A.K. Coomaraswamy on Tantric art.