'MUSHROOM MANTRA' | CHARWEI TSAI
"Charwei Tsai's practice draws on an interest in calligraphy and her study of Buddhism, in particular the ideas of transience and impermanence that are at the heart of Buddhist philosophy. Charwei Tsai's presents her installation 'Mushroom Mantra', working with the monks from the Chung Tian Temple in Brisbane to inscribe text onto living mushrooms. The text is the prajnaparamita or Heart Sutra, a central Buddhist text that describes the concept of emptiness, and the transient relationship between the individual and universe. Tsai has also applied texts to lotus leaves, tofu and other organic matter, covering the objects with calligraphy to create richly textured surfaces. Over time the object changes form and gradually decomposes, reiterating the ideas of impermanence and change which are pivotal to her work. Tsai's choice of materials reflects the location in which her work is made; the materials create direct and intimate connections with the viewer, and the writing of the texts upon them is incorporated into the works as a form of performance."