Image: Owen Leong, Mudra, 2014, archival pigment print on cotton paper, 120 x 120 cm, edition of 5 + 2 AP
Artereal Gallery artist Owen Leong has been selected as a finalist in one of the most important annual surveys of contemporary Australian photographic practice, the Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award 2015.
The artist has been selected for his artwork, entitled 'Mudra', which formed part of the artist's exhibition Bloodmilk which took place at Artereal Gallery in December 2014.
Owen Leong explains his intention behind 'Mudra': A mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word mudra means seal, and is a spiritual gesture made with the hands and fingers. In this self-portrait I hold my own hands cast in the forms of mudras. In my right hand I hold the karana mudra, a powerful gesture for dispelling negative energy, while in my left I hold the gyan mudra, for opening oneself to knowledge. The doubling of hands, both real and cast, suggest grasping at a symbolic and spiritual language as a form of healing. Cloaked in black, out of my hooded jacket erupts black prismatic mineral that forms a mirror-mask protecting the wearer and reflecting the world back onto itself. Manganite has the healing power to let go of attachment and control, and to recognise that you are only responsible for your own actions and not for the actions of others.
The Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award exhibition takes place 28 March - 31 May 2015 at Gold Coast City Gallery and has been judged by Natalie King, (Curator, Writer and Senior Research Fellow, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne).