The Unknown in Suspense (Crystal Moon Blocks)
The Unknown in Suspense (Crystal Moon Blocks), 2018
Crystal moon blocks, newspapers, time, wooden platform, daily performance
Duration and dimensions variable
Set on the floor like paperweights on a pile of local newspapers – renewed daily – two crescent moon-shaped magnifying glasses seem to question the world’s future through everyday events. These crystal objects are modeled on the divination tools called moon blocks, or jiaobei, used in pairs in prophetic rituals in traditional Chinese temples and shrines, often along with fortune sticks. Supplicants toss the red-painted wooden crescents on the floor like dice to obtain Yes or No answers to questions put to the gods. The video that accompanies the installation shows these objects being used in temple ceremonies in Taipei, Taiwan. By reproducing in crystal the jiaobei he brought back from Taipei, the artist operates a cultural shift, invoking the divinatory arts practiced in the Western world.