Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 39

FOCUS

6

5

A Levitating Square Rising
from the Steps
In keeping with the landscape and the
architecture, the sculpture designed for the
Pullman Hotel courtyard also correlates
with sacred aspects of Burmese design.
Titled "Levitating Square," the bronze
sculpture in the Pullman hotel's central
courtyard is 5 metres by 4 metres (16 by 13
feet) and stands 3.5 metres (11 feet) high.
The texture of the square itself matches
the material of the last step surrounding
the sculpture, implying that the ethereal
form was once part of a bigger square
in the courtyard, but was "cut away" in
order to allow it to "levitate." It is as if the
work is frozen in the exact moment that it
was leaving the ground, a 'moment-ness'
emphasizing the transient nature of space
and time. This emphasis on impermanence
echoes Buddhist teachings on the
transient nature of existence. Similar to
sacred spaces in Mandalay, the sculpture
concept was conceived in conjunction
with the landscape concept to ensure
that the entire experience aligns with
the spirit of the place and continues the
same narrative.
The inspiration for the sculpture is a
combination of several sacred elements
within the culture of Myanmar. The
levitated square form is derived from a
site within the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda in the

Mon State region. It is a longstanding
Buddhist belief that the sacred rock
balancing precariously on a slope within
the grounds of Kyaiktiyo is miraculously
levitating to maintain its position.
As Myanmar is home to the world's
largest population of domestically
trained elephants, a creature which holds
sacred significance when employed
in the country's royal ceremonies,
the exterior texture of "Levitated
Square" was be designed to emulate
the skin of an elephant as a way of
honouring this important animal in the
country's traditions.
The finish of the under portions of
"Levitated Square" is polished bronze,
directly inspired by the impressive
amounts of gold in the Pagoda at
Mahamuni. This temple is considered
one of the most sacred sites in all of
Myanmar and the Buddha statue located
there is covered in gold leaf that has
been measured to be over 150mm thick.
The reflective, polished surface was
used to enhance the experience within
"Levitated Square," allowing the viewer
to join in the dialogue between sculpture
and place.
A void can be used to describe
empty space in both a physical and a
metaphysical context. In many Asian

religions, when fully committed to the
meditative experience, a practitioner
experiences a trance-like state of deep
concentration that is completely devoid
of mental churning. This metaphysical
void has been interpreted as a spatial void
within the sculpture. When viewed from
afar the sculpture can be appreciated on
one level as a dynamic form within the
space of the courtyard. The nature of the
open form underneath the floating square
encourages curious and adventurous
viewers to physically enter what is really
the key focus of the work - the void below
defined by the polished interior bronze
sides. It is here, in the space beneath that
one can experience the more private and
internally focused aspects of the sculpture.
Standing within the work, one's own
reflection is seen in the polished bronze,
further enhancing a sense of wonderment
and introspection whilst experiencing the
physical and mental "void."
The history and mythology of Mandalay
provide rich primordial elements to inspire
the landscape design and the sculpture at
the Accor Pullman Hotel. As designers and
artists, our challenge is to shape and create
through a methodology inspired by, as the
Buddha stated, "the way in the heart." The
best result one can hope for is that from
the heart come the subtle nuances that
speak about cultural, historical and spiritual
identity of the place.
www.okashimo-art.com
4, 5 "LEVITATING SQUARE" 6 THE GREAT IMAGE
OF MAHAMUNI, MANDALAY, BURMA
PHOTOS 4, 5 OKASHIMO 6 WAGUANG (CC BY -SA 3.0)

SPRING | PRINTEMPS 2020 39


http://www.okashimo-art.com

Landscapes - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2020

To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
“Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Sacré Montagne
Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Critique
The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 24
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - “Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 32
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Sacré Montagne
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 46
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 54
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 58
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus 1
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