Burning Desire

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Mariko Mori Burning desire 1996

In 1996, Japanese artist Mariko Mori exhibited a new creation entitled Burning Desire, a beautiful glassprint photograph that consists out of 5 panels. On each panel we see, once again, Mori herself, this time as a flying Buddhist-like character. Next to being this character in the middle, she also protraits the 4 other individuals in the work, who can be seen as set on fire. Shot on the Goby desert, Mori’s character, repeated four times, is wearing traditional Tibetan clothes, levitating and burning. The fifth deity floats above them spreading a rainbow of light around her: it’s goddess Mariko, giving a message of faith and support for the Tibetan cause for freedom [1].

As in Nirvana, also from the same year, the work signals a shift in Mori’s work toward a meditative spirituality that combines the Buddhist tradition with a futuristic impetus. [2]
Also, this work can be compared with Mori’s other works, like Kumano, a video installation/glassprint where Mori also plays multiple characters in the work. Next to that, the meditative spirituality and Buddhist tradition can be seen back in that artwork.

Next to being an artwork that expresses the Buddhist and spiritual feeling, it is, as can be read above, also a work of protest. Mori shows her support to the Tibetan people who are oppressed by The People’s Republic of China. The artwork gives a powerful message as all her characters are wearing Tibetan traditional clothes and are on fire. They have a burning desire for freedom and an end to the oppression. Also that the artwork is set in the Gobi desert, from which a big part is located in Northen China, gives its message strength.  

Mariko Mori Burning desire 1997 in Exhibition



[1]: http://www.stefpasquini.com/essays/mariko.htm

[2]: http://artscenecal.com/ArticlesFile/Archive/Articles1998/Articles0798/CR0798.html 

 Pictures taken from: http://www.galerieperrotin.com/Mariko_Mori-works-oeuvres-14119-6.html

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