Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
I’m interested in the way we read images—they way we see through an image’s surface in order to perceive its illusion, in the same way that we see through words in order to understand their meaning. I’m interested in this relationship, in both images and texts, between surface, illusion, and meaning. In Buddhist philosophy, the source of suffering is in our attachments to the self-as-image. The function of Zen meditation practice is to bring attention to this process of perception and, in doing so, to help see through the illusions of self-hood and ground our understanding in the reality of physical experience. In meditation practice, there is equanimity in accepting the paradox of the image—that its deeper meaning lies in neither surface nor illusion, but in the experience of seeing through.
In this thesis, I’m looking at the intersection of my creative and meditative practices over the past several years, focusing on projects where I have tried to incorporate the structure and awareness of meditation into my image-making. Using repetition and effacement as aesthetic interventions, I’m trying to challenge the conventional way we read images. By approaching my work as both an artist and a Buddhist, I hope to interrogate not only the paradox of the image, but also the paradox of the self, and the nature of identity, history, and suffering.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Nakamoto, Brent, "A Meditation in Three Parts" (2018). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 114. https://doi.org/10.7936/K7ZW1KBS.