BOONMA, Montien, Salas for the mind
Salas for the mind combines Montien Boonma’s interest in artistic developments – performance, environmental art and the Italian Arte Povera movement – with his personal exploration of meditative practices, including having lived as a monk in a Buddhist temple. The refined proportions of the salas, which are just large enough to accommodate one person, owe as much to Buddhist temple structures as they do to his formal artistic education. Influenced by the Buddhist ruins in Cambodia, and particularly the sanctuaries there that house the deities, Boonma described his salas as a kind of ritual space, where one can examine their beliefs and rest their mind and thoughts. Each sala gives a person the experience of seclusion, in which their own body becomes a component of the sculpture. Paradoxically, the artwork is only complete when it is inhabited, but the real work is in freeing the mind in the act of meditation.