Charles Long & Khang Bao Nguyen: The Great Perfection
200 W 1st St, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
Saturday, May 4 at 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends Aug 18, 2024
The Great Perfection: Charles Long & Khang Bao Nguyen explores two artists’ diverse approaches to the aesthetic expression of nondual consciousness. Nondualism, an ancient concept rooted in Eastern thought and religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, recognizes the fundamental nature of reality as the unbounded wholeness of universal consciousness. In a world that seems more fractured and disconnected than ever, these artists seek to disclose the underlying oneness of all beings through their creative practices. Nondualism offers a pathway to transcend the dichotomies of us and them, subject and object, self and other, while still affirming the reality of manifold existence. THE EXHIBITION Charles Long is a sculptor living and working in Pomona, California. Known for his efforts to re-examine the tropes of modernist sculpture within his wildly distinctive and speculative practice, his recent work has taken on a psychedelic and metaphysical approach in his search to answer the question: ‘what is sacred art?’ Works cast in amalgamations of bronze, aluminum, brass, nickel, mica and gypsum reveal a creative alchemy born out of a commitment to altered states of consciousness and a faith in the eternal presence, the ground out of which the illusion of material reality appears. He does not see his sculptures as part of contemporary art practice; the resultant objects are at once ancient and futuristic. Amorphous idols, irresistible portals, and sumptuous incisions access a world beyond language where presence is favored over ideas. Khang Bao Nguyen is a painter and scholar of philosophy and religion. He creates abstract paintings that combine diagrammatic stability with effervescent luminosity. His heavily layered surfaces offer a space for spiritual buoyancy and balance where the symmetry of mandalas combine with the weightlessness of outer space to prompt self-reflection. Their perfectly human scale and verticality envelop the viewer, opening a window into boundless realization. The viewing of Nguyen’s paintings is an inherently meditative act, where visual abstraction offers an opportunity for pre-conceptual awareness, an awareness of awareness itself. The exhibition title, “The Great Perfection” is drawn from Dzogchen Buddhism and refers to the completion or wholeness of the universe. In Dzogchen Buddhism, each individual’s true enlightened nature is not something that needs to be achieved. It is ever present and one must simply access it. The experience of this exhibition offers a through line between the presence and creative flow that happen in an artist’s studio and the potentiality of art objects as catalysts for revelatory experience.