"Sumeru Realm" belongs to a Liu Dao series of papercuts depicting ancient Buddhist notions of rebirth in the forms of undying natural beauty bursting from within stark, contemporary constructions such as apartment buildings or offices, as previously seen in "Himavanta" and "Kinnara".
The artists partly refer to Franco Angeloni’s statement in “A Brief View of Everything”–an exhibition with Justin Mills in Bangkok–inspired by the philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurti: “the only revolution…is the revolution inside: an inner reconsideration of the way one views oneself and life…”
While full of worth, this notion directly challenges the remarkable, unmistakable physical revolution of China’s infrastructure and attitudes towards materialism. Liu Dao refer to Mount Sumeru for its special frequent use in Buddhist texts as a symbol of both size and stability – two of modern China’s most impressive characteristics showing a kind of government and societal system experiencing unprecedented success.
Mount Sumeru is also the center of a Buddhist world system in which small universes make medium universes and medium universes make one single great universe. The soul of modern China is depicted in the form of light, in LED animations of birds and in windows of gently shifting colors, and this essence of Chinese history is noted as central to China’s identity. It’s a unifying force that is exemplified by the role of Mandarin in bringing together people from different provinces with vastly differing home languages. [Pete Bradt]