Moon Gate

Moon Gate, 2002

Photo mural collage with mirror and mobile
Panel-72 inches diameter, Mobile-19-3/4 x 36 x 36 inches

Moon Gate uses several architectural elements from classical Chinese garden design along with generic scenic imagery as a framework for examining visual perception. Shaped windows and gates pierce the white walls of these traditional gardens and activate relationships between inside/outside, adjoining/distant, light/shadow and pattern/form.

In Moon Gate the classic gate form is represented by a circular panel on the white gallery wall and is also pierced by a mirrored fan shape. The cut out from this fan shaped window is reconfigured into a 3-D mobile construction. The mobile is activated by the viewer’s motion to generate constantly changing views through and between the scenic mural, the mobile, the mirrors and the gallery environment. These fluctuating views accentuate the viewer’s present position in the gallery while simultaneously referring to the illusion of space in the photographic image, the mirror and the actual place of the particular garden.

I believe the complexity of this visual experience relates closely to the goals of classical Chinese garden designers. Within the confines of the garden walls they strive to represent the powerful forces and perpetual transformations of nature by presenting constantly changing views and surprising and often disconcerting combinations of elements.