The Gourd & the Fish


SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland

Curated by Samuel Leuenberger

The title of the exhibition is inspired by Catch-ing a Catfish with a Gourd, a Zen ink painting from the 15th century located in the Taizo-in Temple in Kyoto. In the center of the composition, a man standing on a bank holds a gourd in both hands, attempting to capture or pin down a catfish swimming in the stream below. An impossible task, such nonsensical act is underscored by the awkwardness with which the figure struggles even to hold his gourd. The image also serves the purpose of a Zen koan, an exemplary story or dialogue seemingly illogical used as a tool for medita-tion, often grappling with existential questions.

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