Monday, October 07, 2019

Lunar Garden at City Hall

Workers tending the zen garden in Nathan Phillips Square move about the heavy turquoise sand pulling a 30 pound rake, weaving intricate patterns around the sparse artifacts that populate the individual plots, gaining perhaps wisdom and peace. The large art installation by Danial Arsham fills a good portion of the concrete square put there for the annual all-night art festival Nuit Blanche 2019 and will remain their until Saturday, October 12. A large moon overlooks the garden, set at the edge of the permanent stage and at night the moon will shine brightly on the installation acompanied by music from Charlotte Day Wilson.

The five separate areas of the garden contain 425,600 pounds of sand as well as sculptures of a single tree, a fountain, a large camera and a clock along with a number of white rocks.

From the City of Toronto's Nuit Blanche web portal, "Visitors will be able to take a break from the everyday and Zen out in this surreal world. A 30-foot (nine-metre) light orb resembling the moon will light up a landscape made of colourful sand. The sculptures—enlarged casts of everyday objects—will hint at future archeological finds. Shifting between a centuries-old tradition, an artist's creative interpretation, and an implied future, the garden plays with motifs of permanence and impermanence creating a work that has the tendency to float in time. This signature style of reimagined architecture continues the artist’s past work—including colour-gradient sand paintings which present raked Zen gardens in a static, vertical format. The artist’s recent shift away from black, white and gray tones became possible with special glasses that correct his colourblindness. These allow him to see a broader, more vibrant spectrum—one he will share with Toronto through this otherworldly and luminous “Lunar Garden.”

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