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Description - In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art and Social Practice by Haema Sivanesan

An engaging and sumptuously designed examination of the influence andimpact of Buddhism on art in North America from the post-war period to the present.

In Buddhist teaching, the concept of being in the present moment refers to a practice of living mindfully with full awareness of the world, including an awareness of the consequences of one's actions. It is a state of active presence combined with profound peace and joyful appreciation, each cumulatively embracing the potential of the eternal now.

In the Present Moment: Buddhism, Contemporary Art and Social Practice explores how artists have variously grappled with the concept of being in the present moment by using their art practice to explore this deceptively complex concept and to give that inquiry aesthetic form. Tracing a history of the intersection of Buddhist thought and artistic production in North America (United States and Canada) from the mid-20th century to the present, In the Present Moment draws on the extensive collections at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria along with leading research and, for many artists, lifelong investigations into the relationship between art, life, and Buddhist practice to explore how Buddhist ideas and philosophy have played an important and often underappreciated role in the development of contemporary art.

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