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Ray of Light

睿 光


Mediha Ting’s Ray of Light series, comprised of seventeen works, employs her signature techniques of layering and juxtaposition of the abstract and figurative on the same canvas.  From afar, one can view the first layer on the canvas: color stains in abstract gestures.  On a closer look, there are detailed intricacies on subsequent layers.  These include an image transfer of student-drawn maps at the site of the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.  Following that is a print utilizing Chinese ink, illustrating Hong Kong’s skyline in panorama format.  This line extends across the five canvases of the series, on both top and bottom portions of the works.  Additionally, there are hints of oriental characters laid on by peeling plastic off character transcriptions.  Finally, Ting sets rays of luminescent colour around the figures on the canvas, which morph into different shades based on the viewer’s use of natural light.  These levels of content provide much richness and complexity to the works.  

Common across the series is the focus on what Ting describes as “spiritual light” – the provision of light and love to be shared by all religions.  This reflects Ting’s Muslim background combined with her Catholic education and keen interest in Buddhism.  The theme promotes the notions of love and healing as opposed to division and differences.  On this note, there are references to the Diamond Sutra, a Mahayana sutra which is an object of devotion in Zen Buddhism.  Also shared amongst the works are the aforementioned figures of maps from the site of the Umbrella Movement, allowing the viewers to interpret Ting’s local heritage.  

The sixth work in the Ray of Light series has a particularly colored hue inspired by varying shades of blue.  It blends in with the other works in the series in that it conveys a sheen of glow and reflection depending on lighting volatility.  The color blue refers indirectly to natural phenomena including water and the sky, allowing the subconscious to judge the differing modes of expression shown in this work.  It also references surrealism, automatic painting, and a curious inclusion of meditative qualities.  

Flowers and nature, particularly orchids, inspire the more demure colour scheme of this series, and provide a balance to the hectic city atmosphere that is also inflected upon the work.  This colour palette is in contrast to the artist’s prior works that display more intense, concentrated pigmentation.  (For example, her series titled Heart Sutra utilize brighter shades of colour, representing the sutra’s theme of suffering, meditation, and emptiness.)  This series, Ray of Light, is a glorious reflection of Ting’s varied background and her diverse, mixed philosophy.

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