Leave Me My Own World by Satish Gupta, sculpture in copper and gold leaf, 16x 20x 20 inches
IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME
IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
What is your present state of mind? Tranquil, blissful and at peace with the world.
Fight the Power or Power the fight? Power the fight for the environment and for all life, not just for human beings.
If not yourself, who would you be? I am many beings in this body… there is no one me, there is no self. I am the dew drop, I am the ocean.
What is time? Just this present moment, that’s all there is.
Do you have faith? Yes! Faith in Life and in its abundance.
Where are you now? Lucky to be in my mountain studio tucked away in a little village in the snow clad Himalayas surrounded by nature away from big cities.
Your sliding doors?Having had very close encounters with death with doors closing in on me but blessed to have had others opening.
Your butterfly effect? I breathe the same air that the Buddha inhaled and exhaled centuries back. All life is interdependent, we falsely think that ourselves end at the barrier of our skin and that all that is outside the skin is not ‘Me’. Whereas nothing can exist in isolation, every action that I take or choose not to take effects everything else, in fact even a thought crossing my mind has a butterfly effect.
How is culture “infected”? The idea that there is a paradise, a better world than this world to aim for. That’s what infects and corrupts our minds. We commit so many crimes in the name of religion which promises us a heaven. We have to make our heaven right here in this world.
What art do you have in your living room? Antique Chola bronzes, Buddhist thankas, sea shells and pebbles collected from different beaches of the world and of course, my own art.
Your favorite heroine? My wife Amita, who is a strong woman and at the same time is full of compassion.
3 books that changed your life? Zen flesh, zen bones by Paul Reps, Quantum in the Lotus by Mathieu Riccard, Mahabharata by Vyasa – the Indian classic.
What would you like to toast to? A breath of fresh air!
Your greatest accomplishment? Being at peace with myself.
In which restaurant would you want to eat your last supper and what would you order? At home, relishing the special dishes my mom used to cook on my birthday.
Looking at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Vast emptiness.
Your biggest regret? No regrets. I look forward and learn from my mistakes.
Your ideal view? I just need to close my eyes and I can revisit many magnificent sunrises and sunsets that I have experienced. I can change my ideal view as I desire.
Who is your favorite artist that nobody has heard of? Satish Gupta
Which artist should everyone know before the age of 18? Paul Klee.
You are organizing a dinner party, which 3 people would you invite (dead or alive)? Lao tzu, Genghis Khan and Stephen Hawking.
Which books are on your nightstand? Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Selected poetry of Rilke, Zen Buddhism by D T Suzuki, A History of the world in 100 objects by Neil MacGregor, The mountain poems of Stonehouse by Red Pine.
Yin or Yang? Is there a difference?
Your favorite Exhibition? Leonardo Da Vinci: A life in drawing show at the Buckingham palace in London.
Your favorite Museum? The Rubin Museum of Asian art in New York.
Your favorite Curator? Nature.
Who is winning: the streets or the institutions? The streets… we have to build new institutions, they were outdated.
Who do you dislike? Egocentric and insensitive people in power.
Your myths? That I can leave behind as my legacy – paintings and sculptures of substance and of value to the future generations in this floating world.
One film that changed your life? Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa.
Your idea of mysery? There is no misery, there is only bliss. It’s all in the mind, we can choose between the two, wether to be miserable or blissful is in our hands.
Your disguise? We disguise ourselves in our persona. My journey is to unmask myself.
Your idea of mystery? Alone at noon in the vast Thar desert and hearing a voice singing a desert song with no one in sight.
Your favorite hero? A wise old man who blissfully played the flute while riding an Ox, whom I saw in a paddy field in Bali. He was completely one with nature and oblivious of the volcano Kintamani smoking in the background.
The theme song to your life? The sound of a cascading stream.
Your enemy? Ignorance.
Your favorite drink? A clean and crisp glass of Chablis.
If you could choose, how would you like to die? Each moment is death and each moment is rebirth.
Your motto? Flow river, flow!