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Takeover #179 Ying Liu

Ying Liu: Instagram / Website

#179 (27/09 - 01/10, 2021) written by Anisa Demirci and Cheyenne Pattiwaël

Motional meditation, long-term engagement with different materials and media, collective performance, un-making art representations and non-verbal meetings. The word ‘artworks’ does not do Ying Liu justice. It is rather an art practice and process. This week you will be introduced to an art practice that emerged from Buddhist practice and keeps on evolving over time. Ying hails from China and graduated from MA Fine Art at St.Joost in 2020.

When asked why she makes art, Ying stated: “For me it’s a way of healing and silencing my mind. It’s beneficial to my mental health, especially during the pandemic. It’s about finding balance, a way of being (in the moment). It generates positive energy for myself and others. By collaborating with other artists through my own method I have the will to let them benefit from my method. This drives me to keep going, to stay with this ‘purely do’ by abandoning the analytical/judgemental mind.”

Through continually interacting with a material for a certain amount of time, Ying is able to learn from the material and meditate with it. The physical result is considered as a by-product, rather than the end goal. Ying organized the online program ‘Collective contemplation — Let silence and the material speak’, in which she and 7 other artists conduct sessions of motional meditation. Through the 1 hour Zoom meeting, they end up with different works and visual results for each session. Ying collects and publishes them. An example is Session 3: Covering the surfaces of a pile of stones with chalks for 1 hour.

“Every time I’ve been introduced to a material, I think of ways in which the material interacts with me. It can lead to repetitively making small balls or letting my hands spontaneously sculpt the clay. The material itself can also introduce me to different gestures or activities. It can also be cleaning houses or doodling on a music score, which are all embodiments of practicing motional mediation in different formats.”

This week Ying will show us recent projects of different activities and meditations, next to various resources that fuel her inspiration. Don’t be surprised if there is an open call to join one of her meetings/collective workshops!

“I think it’s about the activity itself and the inner experience; how I feel, how others feel, during the motional meditation. Working as a so-called visual artist, for me, the visual consequences don’t matter that much.”

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