Bast paper room ( Installation / Performance )
Artist: Xiao Lu
Performance time: 28 October － 3 November 2013
Materials: Pizhi (“skin paper”, mulberry bast fibre paper ), a table, cushions, a bed, blankets, a case of 330 ml bottles of mineral water, a bucket of plain water, stationery, ink, xuan paper, books.
Exhibition: Why Not? The First Auction Biennale
Time: 22 October - 3 November 2013
Location: Expo Museum, Shanghai, China.
Curator: Shi Jinsong
About “Bast Paper Room”
Using “skin paper”(pizhi,mulberry bast fibre paper), Xiao Lu constructed a room of 20 square meters, imitating the Daoist method of Pigu (Pigu, literally “refrain from eating grains”, a Daoist isolation exercise). For seven days and seven nights she refrained from eating, and only drank water while she read, wrote, painted, meditated and kept a diary.
Pigu Day One: Mind unsettled. Painted The Skin Paper Room(皮纸间). Wrote 12 pages of diary (letter paper).
Pigu Day Two: Feeling of starvation. Painted I Saw a Fish(我看见了一条鱼）. Read Master Xingyun’s Commentary on the Diamond Sutra. Painted Mind is Born in Detachment(无住生心）. Physically weak. Painted Cloud Ladder (云梯）. Read about Luis Barragan’s architecture. Wrote 12 pages of diary.
Pigu Day Three: Had nightmares all night. Physically weak. Painted Xu Gu(虚谷）. Wrote 10 pages of diary. Slept.
Pigu Day Four: Bodily ability revives from the weakness. Wrote: “Why not? What is?”. My “middle warmer energy”(zhongqi,中气）was sufficient. Read Krishnamurti: The Book of Life. Wrote 14 pages of diary.
Pigu Day Five: Bodily ability is excellent. Read Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow. Painted The Knot of Birth and Death(生死结）. Wrote 14 pages of diary.
Pigu Day Six: Felt somewhat feeble physically. Painted ands added inscription: “ Pure heart/mind, pure body, are empty before the moon: the empty bosom is like the ‘skin paper’ room.” Wrote 10 pages of diary.
Pigu Day Seven: Painted Empty Spirit(空灵）. Wrote 15 pages of diary.
Within a limited time and space, the ability of the body revives within the void.
13 July 2014, Beijing Skew House