Showcasing the creative output of faculty and students

   Academy of Visual Arts

  Dr. Sunny WANG

  Assistant Professor, Academy of Visual Arts,
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Be/coming: A Glass Path to Happiness

Glass holds the vibration of light. It’s a celebration of rainbow colors. It’s a material with spiritual qualities transforming liquid inspiration into solid art.

Glass is the container of thoughts, meanings and metaphors associated with its materiality: fragility, fluidity, daily function, transparency and translucency, with properties of preservation and separation. It exists in between liquid and solid, it touches everything with celebration!

      When a thought comes to break the earth
      You have to watch it
      Just a moment
      —Sunny Wang, The Journal of Be/coming: Poetic Diary 2008.11.1

The central research of my work explores of the concept of Be/coming in the practice of glass art underpinned by the aesthetics and spirituality of Chinese calligraphy (ink-brush and words).

The theory of Be/coming used for this project is framed by Buddhist practice as an investigation of life (and making) through spirituality and everyday phenomena, thereby transforming intellectual theory through life experience. The understanding generated through actual life experience becomes the insight to well-being/happiness, and is passed on by creative practice.

The research “Be/coming” creatively explores the simultaneous process of being (existence) and becoming (continuity of being). The solidus (/) is used between “be and coming” and refers to the Buddhist concept of non-duality, the unity of oneness and not-twoness, not-one not-two and also-one and also-two. The (/) also implies the void or empty space where things originate, interact and connect, where being and becoming (Be/coming) happens in between beings and things.

The word Be/coming evolves from a static idea to a moving idea. The process of life is never-ending; it changes into different forms and continues. Our life is always in a state of ongoingness (suchness), in the flow of Be/coming. The concept of Be/coming is realized and manifested through art works made for research as well as the artist’s life experience during the making.

Below is an introduction of four works based on this research.

The hot-formed “Self 自” series was formed in October 2006; it expresses the Chinese character “self 自” as a way to understand my-Chinese-self. The air bubbles visible inside the work were intended to indicate both the space between the lines and the breath—the energy/qi 氣 needed for writing and making. The bubble literally creates an inner space, a space for the reflection of self (maker/artist) and the other-self who is looking at the work.

Figure 1

Suchness-Ease and The Poetic Stones
These two installation works are based on the concept of maintaining ease in a dynamic changing world; stillness and motion appearing together. Suchness is thing(s)-as-it-is; Ease in Chinese is Rong-Yi 容易; Rong容 means to contain/allow/endure, Yi易 means change, to allow change and therefore ease (容易). To allow change is the acceptance of the way of life with ease, therefore suchness-ease (2009-2011).

Figure 2

The work “The Poetic Stones” (2010-2011) is based on the poems in The Ten Oxherding Pictures (Kuo-an Shih-yuan郭庵師遠). It is analogous to the rhythms/tones from the structure of the poems. I analysed the rhythms/tones of the poems by using a calligraphic line “–” for the level/flat tone (平聲) and a circle “○” for the oblique tone (仄聲), and simplified them into calligraphic lines and circles to compose the meaning abstractly. The pattern of the 28 stones on the floor repeats the pattern of the poems, four lines, each line of seven words.

Figure 3

The Glass Circles
This work is the last one I developed for my PhD research as the conclusion/full-stop and returning to the origin of life. Ending is a “full-stop” (a dot in English, a little circle in Chinese text). A little circle “○” is also the symbol of zero, and when we say someone’s life is returned to the zero point, it could mean in Chinese either that someone is starting a new life or ending an old life, or both. Each glass circle was drawn within one breath. More than one hundred circles were placed on the floor to create a meditative time-space for people to be and become.

Figure 4

The way of Be/coming is open-ended and still in process. As the late Zen Master, Sheng-yen said, “The process of practice itself is really the final result.”1 To gain well-being/happiness, to take care of ourselves (myself) within the experience of action/happening, to be still and flexible in the ever-changing world, even in a stormy moment, is a continuing practice; as life goes, the journey of pracice never ends.

This acceptance requires one to work/live fully and freely in each moment, and to express oneself fully with enjoyment and a calm mind, here and now, so as, the best one can, to maintain well-being/happiness in the continuous flow and flux of life/making, is Be/coming!

      Things of the past are already long gone
      Things to be, distant beyond imagining.
      The Tao is just this moment, here and now, these words:
      plum blossoms fallen; gardenia just opening.
      —Mountain Dwelling 山居, Qing Gong 清珙 2

1 Shengyan and Stevenson, Hoofprint of the Ox, 211.

2 The English translation is from A Drifting Boat: An Anthology of Chinese Zen Poetry, ed. Jerome P. Seaton & Dennis Maloney
   (Fredonia: White Pine Press, 1994), 150. I added “here and now” in the third sentence.

(No Chinese translation is provided yet. 此文章暫沒有中文翻譯版本。)

23 results found  
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Glass / Ceramics (21)
Drawing / Painting (3)
Installation (1)
(One artwork may have more than one art forms)


Glass encasing paperweight, lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 3295


Glass lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of Glass (The ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 2816

Zen Stones

Glass encasing paperweight, lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 1995

Zen Stones

Glass encasing paperweight, lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 2496

Zen Stones

Glass encasing paperweight, lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 2668

Zen Stones

Glass lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of Glass (The ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 2370

Zen Stones and a ...

Glass encasing paperweight, lampworked 2015 July at Corning Museum of ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2015-07 2211

Black Stone Bag

“Black Stone Bag” was an accidental moment happening at the end of the ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2014-12 3513

Circle & Line ...

“Circle & Line Dialogue” is made by my favourite colours, black and ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2014-12 3428

Engraving Path

“Engraving Path” reflects a quiet moment while sitting still pondering ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2014-12 3192


This work is created to remember my Glass Master, the late Stephen ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2014-08 5470

The Glass Circles

Making circles again and again, one by one, one to many, many to one. It ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 9118

In-out Ladders

The ladder inside where it is reaching? The ladders outside, where to ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 3182


The ink-circle having been completed within one breath. Although it is not ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 2474

Ladder in a Ink ...

Ladder is the hope to get out the circle or to go in a circle?
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 5532

Ladders in Bubble

To go out or to remain inside the circle?
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 9311

Ru - Suchness ...

如Ru - Suchness Thusness 如Ru is a simple Chinese word with ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 4155


Suchness-Ease is based on the concept of maintaining ease in a dynamic ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2013-10 4254

Installation of ...

The diary entries and ink-drawings reflect the unfolding of my life as ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2011-10 4563

Two Poetic Stones

The white glass presents the ink writing on the surface, as soon as it ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2011-10 6297

4 Selfs

The hot-formed Self series presents the essence of self in a Chinese ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2009-10 6491

Many Happiness

Happiness is not a goal in life, but an attitude of life and in-bed in ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2006-10 10563

Red Happiness

Red Happiness utilizes my favorite colors, red and black, which are also ...
Dr. Sunny Wang
2005-09 6260