Sharon Alward



An Installation/Performance performed over a week at the Winnipeg Contemporary Dance Studio in Winnipeg.

Video Pool Media Arts Centre commissioned the project for their 25th Anniversary. The Bushi was about transformation through the use of ritual and technology in a nature based projected video environment. BUSHI continues my interest in cultural practices that reconstitute and redefine rituals, and my attempt to challenge ethics, meaning and the role of the artist in current plural realities. Bushi is a combination of a Confucian approach and Zen Buddhism, which promoted austerity, detachment and "no-mind" concentration as an ultimate approach to combat situations as well as daily life, and considered martial arts as a way to self-realization and to the expression of one's Buddha-nature. Bushi includes: a life of humility; a life of labor; a life of service; a life of prayer and gratitude; and a life of meditation. The key is daily regularity. The Bushido and its ties to Zen claim the path to enlightenment is through the practice of physical rituals. This research led to an interest in the warrior mindset of both martial training and daily life or "martial arts” in my search for the soul of the modern warrior, My daily rituals for one week incorporated Goju Ryu Karate (the way of hard and soft), and Iaido, the art of cutting and drawing the sword to develop awareness, centeredness, sincerity and a calm mind. In addition to training, I served tea to guests in the tea house.