Sharon Alward



The project Satori explores ideas of the digital reconstruction and the penetration of the animated body into virtual spaces. The images are to be exhibited on 5 monitors that represent rocks in an installed Zen Garden.

This project is about a new kind of Satori—an esthetic response to current cultural realities. Unlike Murakami’s otaku-inspired Superflat movement exploring Japanese national identity as a castrated infantilized culture, emotionally traumatized by atomic horror, many westerners romanticize Asian culture through its martial arts legends as a culture of warrior courage. In the Zen garden images of the artist as a “flight and fly” female warrior and a female manga karate-ka are juxtaposed with scenes of young Japanese “sexy santas” on Kokosai Dori, “International Street” on Christmas day, which highlight the Asian impulse to romanticize Eurocentric practices and customs and reinvest these traditions with new meaning. The Chinese Garden appears as a “garden of Eden” backdrop for the artist as contemplative western samurai and is simultaneously being dismantled for cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.