Times-Picayune: artist Polo at Silk Road Collection

Times-Picayune Logo link"To the Rim" column by Tina Soong
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Artist Polo abstract meditation paintings at Silk Road Collection.

Art display focuses on 'Enlightened Path'

An art show titled "Enlightened Path," a group of Asian influenced abstract paintings by artist/architect Polo, is on display through March at Silk Road Collection, 3714 Magazine St., New Orleans, to celebrate the Chinese New Year 4705.

This is the first post-Katrina art show by Polo at the newly reopened art gallery/furniture store which was flooded by Katrina. Polo has exhibited once before at Silk Road Collection. In the past, his paintings were centered on his presentations of the variety processes of meditation.

"Enlightened Path is the way to enrich yourself into the spiritual knowledge," Polo said. "Sun, moon and the light of candles are used as the guides to your enlightened path."

Meditation has been central to Buddhism. The Buddha himself was said to have achieved enlightenment while meditating under a boddhi tree. In Chinese Chan, Japanese Zen and Korean Seon schools, meditation practices are important, allowing the practitioners to directly experience the true nature of reality.

"Buddhist meditation is a means to connect with oneself," Polo said. "My art is a visual abstract of color, forms and flows which represents lifestyles, paths of life and even life events. My meditation thoughts begin and evolve into my art.

"Defining one's path is the Buddhist thought of life and that is the basis of my series of paintings. I use my experiences in Asian lifestyle as that is my natural and learned experience and process of thought."

Polo added that a western environment is an artistic challenge.

"I have to adjust my thinking and use symbolism in nature to inspire," Polo explained. "I differentiate that the Western environment is based on external paths of influence whereas the Asian philosophy of thoughts is the opposite. Combining these thoughts in my art is a process in my study in the meaning of the terms.

"There is no end point to truth and art as they extend into the infinity. However, there are wonderful stopping points on the way and that is what I meditate on to achieve that point of truth and spiritual comfort that we have experienced."

Feng shui, the Asian art and philosophy of living in harmony with nature and man, was Polo's starting point as an artist. He used the feng shui principles to set up his home-based studio space, he said.

Polo has lived in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 2003.

[Correction: Polo's home and studio on the Mississippi Gulf Coast were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Silk Road Collection was fortunate to not have any flooding or damage.]