The Buddhist concept of Samsara refers to the 'cycle of existence’, as well as one’s actions and consequences in the past, present, and future. Japanese artist Isana Yamada embodies this concept with six suspended whales swimming in a circle like the six stages of 'Samsara'. Made from resin, the cetaceans provide a window to strange underwater worlds carved into their bellies.
Yamada’s translucent whale series was developed as a post-graduate project at the Tokyo University of the Arts. As well as a nod to the concept of ‘Samsara’, the project celebrates the traditional belief known as Tsukumogami, wherein long-lived animals (like whales) possess spirits and gods.
Made from translucent resin complete with interesting smoky patterns, the whales sit on a thin pole – as though they are floating, and shine from within. The glow unveils various objects in their bellies, such as a submarine, a volcano, a sunken boat, sand and a sea of clouds.
Isana Yamada’s ‘Samsara’ will be on show at the Artcomplex Center of Tokyo in Japan from March 1-6, 2016.