ROAD TO HEAVEN #3 // 东巴神路图 #3
[alternative subtitle: A Practice-Based Approach to Theology]
an exhibition of work by Frog (Qingwa)*
Co-produced by Dr. Petra Johnson and HeJixing
@ LIJIANG CITY LIBRARY// 在丽江图书馆
from October 12-28th, 2018
*also featuring: video (work-in-progress) “A Road Closer to the Gods” by An Xiao Mina (USA), with translated transcripts by Lisa Li (CN); “Crane Dance” video excerpt from Jixiang Village’s Qilin Dance (filmed and edited by Petra Johnson); audio piece “An Interview” featuring Professor FanDahan (CN) and Dr. Petra Johnson (UK), transcript editing by WuShuyin and HeJixing (CN); collaborative pieces with Dongba HeXiudong, Dongba Yanjianhua, Dongba HeSiqiang (CN); “Dog Head” fabricated as a prop for the film “Lashihai’s Ophelia” by Greta Mendez (Trinidad/ UK); live appearance and interview with Dongba HeXiushan a.k.a. Sunny (CN)
The Dongba Road to Heaven funeral scroll is a long painting used at certain Naxi Dongba funerals.
During the funeral ritual, a Dongba priest guides the soul of the deceased through the levels of Hell, and towards Earth and Heaven.
“The Road to Heaven #3” Exhibition presents an unfinished Dongba Road to Heaven scroll painting.
I first began studying Dongba culture as an art student in 2011, seven years ago.
Since then, I have completed two Road to Heaven scrolls, seven Thangka-Style Dongba paintings, at least a dozen books of notes and observational drawings, and studies of ritual cards and wooden board paintings, under the guidance of multiple Lijiang Dongba teachers.
I painted my first Road to Heaven scroll in 2014 as an assignment for a Dongba teacher- it has now been returned to him and it lives in Tacheng village, ready for use in the next ritual.
I painted my second scroll in 2015-2017, as a study for myself. In 2016, that scroll was presented in an exhibition in Maryland, USA, and was also featured as part of a project in Mongolia, funded with a Visual Arts grant by the Asian Cultural Council. In 2018, the same scroll painting, when finished, was shown in exhibitions in Berlin, Germany and in New York City.
This new scroll, which is currently in-progress, is my third edition.
To encourage the interactive facets of cultural production, I encourage intellectual exchange as I invite visitors of all ages to evaluate the work and give feedback while it is being created.
There will be a presentation/ performance lecture during the opening event, as well as a box to collect feedback throughout the duration of the show.
During the closing event we can discuss the issues which have been brought to attention by the general public.
This gives the local community a moment to reflect on traditional Naxi Dongba culture, while also assessing how it is recreated and represented in international contemporary conversations today.
October 13th, Saturday
3-5pm @ the Library Exhibition Room
3:00: Extract from the Qilin Dance (Crane and Deer)- featuring guest performers HeJixing and MuXian
3:30: Speeches from Library Staff, Officials, Curators, and Lijiang Studio
4:00: Performance Lecture (“Post-Mortem Guidance Counseling: A Brief Intro”) by Frog
5:00: Library closes; dinner at restaurant
October 27th, Saturday
3:00-5:00: Readings of collected feedback; Q & A
Special thanks to Hannah Zhang, Jay Brown, and Lijiang Studio’s October residents: WuShuyin, Kartika Mediana, Witold, and Adrian (Trillion Rexford)