Anicca : Everlasting beauty

November 2014

Buddhism is not just a faith or belief, it is a way of living and a life philosophy Khunprasert has chosen to live with. Apart from teachings of virtues and path of enlightenment, Buddhism also focuses on let go of all attachments in life. The book ‘Anicca’ depicts one of the philosophies about temporariness. Initially, Khunprasert prototyped a secret book that store a fresh flower. As time went by the flower decayed, representing the fact that beauty cannot be maintained or stored.

Then the designer started documenting dead flowers on the street, farmer market, and highline. Not satisfied with the images, she kept asking herself what is the best way to represent Buddhism’s teaching of temporariness through the beauty and ugliness of flowers. Then she came across Azuma Makoto, a Japanese artist who uses plants as medium. His work, Frozen Pine (2011), is an obvious and literal representation of altering the natural life of the plant. Azuma’s interpretation of this man-made distortion idea involves enclosing, freezing, and stretching. The steel frame around the trees represents a sort of confinement in which nature is altered. In addition, she did some researches on the art of flower preservations in history and the modern science. She then started with the simplest and feasible preservation method, ice.  Khunprasert documented her experiment on freezing flower in iced water. She also tried different kinds of flowers in different shapes of containers.

 As for the content of the book, Khunprasert sited quotes from an English-translated Buddhism book, Vimuttidhamma by Piyadhassi Bhikkhu. The book about pathway to enlightenment devoted one chapter for Anicca or impermanence.