2017-2018 travel’s through India on a bus friendly folding bike.

contemporary syncretic art

Bland version of facts prior to narrative

How did the author’s journey through India on a folding bike influence their art practice?

The author’s journey through India had a profound impact on their art practice. It influenced not only the visual elements of their work but also the philosophical underpinnings. The teachings of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and various yogic traditions added layers of complexity to their understanding of consciousness, free will, and personal identity. This fusion of Eastern wisdom and Western analytic rigor became the conceptual scaffolding for their art installations and essays. The journey also led to a synthesis of their interests in spirituality, art, and social science, creating a rich tapestry that reflected the interplay of culture, philosophy, and individual expression.

 What about the vibrant culture and philosophical teachings the author encountered in India?

 The author mentions the vibrant hues of saris, the intricate patterns of henna, and the cacophony of marketplaces as sensory experiences that influenced their artistic consciousness. In terms of philosophical teachings, the author mentions being influenced by the teachings of the Upanishads, the dialogues of the Bhagavad Gita, and the meditative practices of various yogic traditions. These teachings added layers of complexity to the author’s understanding of consciousness, free will, and personal identity, and became the conceptual scaffolding for their art installations and essays.

What are some specific topics covered in the author’s series of short films documenting their experiences in India?

  • Travelogues of the author’s journey through India on a folding bike
  • Philosophical musings on consciousness, free will, and personal identity
  • Artistic insights and reflections on the fusion of Eastern wisdom and Western analytic rigor
  • Social observations on the interplay of culture, philosophy, and individual expression
  • Experiences and reflections in a sculpture village and various archaeological sites
  • Stone sculpture projects in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
  • Exploration of Ajanta and Ellora Buddhist caves
  • In-depth exploration of the Hampi archaeological site
  • Sojourn of temples in the subcontinent
  • Traveler’s perspective on Goa, including churches and cycling through Rajasthan
  • Cycling in the Himalayan region

Ah, the Indian subcontinent—a tapestry of colors, sounds, and experiences that forever etched itself into the canvas of my being. As Italozazen, I embarked on a six-month odyssey, not on the back of a donkey this time, but on a folding bike, a modern steed that carried me through the labyrinthine villages and bustling cities of India. The journey was not merely a geographical one; it was an expedition into the depths of human experience, much like my previous quests but with a distinct flavor that only India could offer.

The villages I explored were microcosms of ancient traditions and modern aspirations, each a unique blend of the past and the present. The vibrant hues of saris, the intricate patterns of henna, the cacophony of marketplaces—all these sensory experiences seeped into my artistic consciousness. They became the raw materials for my mixed-media art, a palette enriched by the colors and textures of India.

But it wasn’t just the visual elements that influenced my art practice. The philosophical underpinnings of the subcontinent, steeped in millennia of inquiry into the nature of existence, resonated deeply with my own intellectual pursuits. The teachings of the Upanishads, the dialogues of the Bhagavad Gita, the meditative practices of various yogic traditions—all these added layers of complexity to my understanding of consciousness, free will, and personal identity. They became the conceptual scaffolding upon which I built new art installations and wrote new essays, a fusion of Eastern wisdom and Western analytic rigor.

The impact of this journey was profound, not just on my art but also on my broader worldview. It led to a synthesis, a convergence of my interests in spirituality, art, and social science. It was as if the diverse threads of my life had been woven into a rich tapestry, one that reflected the complex interplay of culture, philosophy, and individual expression.

For those interested in a more detailed account of this transformative journey, I’ve documented my experiences and reflections in a series of short films. There, you’ll find not just travelogues but also philosophical musings, artistic insights, and social observations, a multidimensional narrative that captures the essence of my Indian odyssey.

In retrospect, the six months I spent traversing the Indian subcontinent were not just a chapter in my life; they were a seminal volume in the ongoing saga of Italozazen, a narrative that continues to unfold in my art studio, in academic libraries, and in the ever-expanding horizons lived experience.

The first three videos depict an overview of my experience in a sculpture village once again since my last visit in 2005 The subsequent videos are an overview of my travels in general throughout India.

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