MEIDITATION PERFORMANCE ART
TIMES SQUARE NEW YORK
JULY 4th, 2019
On July 4th, 2019, the 243rd Independence Day of the United States, Chinese artist Red Square performed a powerful Neoillusionist Art Meditation titled, “Unraveling”. She sat at the Crossroads of the World, Times Square, to unravel Democracy and Independence in hopes of revealing the truth of humanity in today’s society.
Red Square was sculptured as a NeoHarlequin (a 21st century Harlequin), but performed in the spirit and image of both the Monkey King (Sun Wukong, 孫悟空), and Gaibang Bangzhu (丐幫幫主). Sun Wukong translates more directly as “The Awakening of Emptiness”, and first appeared as a main character in the 16th century Chinese classical novel, Journey To The West. Revered for his strength, spontaneous generation and shape shifting ability, he plays a significant role in Chinese culture. The literal translation of Gaibang Bangzhu is the Head of Beggars’ Sect (a fictional martial arts sect) who are noticeable or unnoticeable in public for their beggar style dress and harlequin behavior, yet they are the master of masters.
The artist’s outfit was custom made by Neodandi House of Couture, her face was painted as the Monkey King — in white with a red heart over her central facial features. Her back, arms and legs were all painted white, and her almost floor length hair was twisting around her like a rope itself. There she sat, meditating in the 93 degree heat, facing the ABC News Studios for hours among a large pile of different kinds of ropes in varying degrees of knots. The rope represents life itself, having the infinite power to kill yet also to save human lives. The knots symbolize society’s unsolved situations, hardships between nations, between individuals, between families, as well as in Red Square’s own life. She took the time to unravel the knots and twists meditatively, while quietly reciting the Heart Sutra for all those who are bound and suffering.
It was an affecting scene. Many passersby were curious, concerned, full of question to know more about this unexpected protest on the 4th of July. When they were told by the the artist’s support team they were deeply moved and wanted to offer her water and encouragement to keep going. Some were frightened, but most looked passed and pretended not to see — a perfect reflection of the state of our humanity unraveling, and an intrinsic part of the performance.
In the process of unraveling and meditating, Red Square discovered the truth that has been in front of us since the dawn of human existence. Through a new experience with a different perspective, she learned that unraveling is never ending, there is always a knot inside of the knot. You cannot cut the knot to unravel it just as you cannot cut the thread of existence to end it. The knot must be there to give meaning to the rope, otherwise we go through life with nothing to hold on to. No joy, no suffering, no nothing. We must face the fact that while suffering is inescapable, we have the ability to turn the hurt and tears to positive energy, strength and commitment to overcome any obstacles along the way in the eternal quest for freedom and peace.
Interviewed after the performance, Red Square said, “Art is my spiritual practice, Times Square was my temple, and “Unraveling” is my prayer for humanity and the world. I am reborn again in the process of going through this unveiling.” For the artist it was a transcendence of her soul, the liberation of her inner freedom. “As potent as any of Martha Graham’s works”, one person said, “Red Square was a warrior,” another commented.
“As an artist, it is my responsibility to reveal the truth of society in my own way, calling people’s attention to what lies beyond what can be seen, asking them to wake up and face themselves and Reality as it really is.”
Neoillusionist Artist Red Square is from Hunan, China and is a world renowned Calligrapher, Tea Master, and Poet. She is known to be a spearhead amongst the Avant-Garde community, and her new book Unraveling on its way to meet the world.