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Javid Jah

Javid Jah Mūlādhāra (Root Chakra)

Javid Jah Mūlādhāra (Root Chakra)

Aluminum, vinyl, wood. 90" diameter x 5" depth.


The meaning of this chakra is essentially "the root and basis of one's existence." Its grounding nature in one sense expresses the Earth element of our being as it is located at the base of our spine. Physiologically, Root is connected to the Pelvic plexus, where we generate fight/flight responses. It is believed to emanate a red hue, the longest wavelength of the visible spectrum, corresponding to the furthest visible planet, Saturn.

This artwork is one of 7 pieces as part of the exhibition titled "The Universe Within." Each piece functions as a tunnel characterized by the seven principal energy centres of the human body according to the ancient Vedic practice largely known today as Yoga.

The exhibition is developed on the traditional assumption that the human body is a microcosm of the Universe (a macrocosm). Thus, the 7 principle chakras or "wheels" along the human spinal cord are re-imagined as the 7 visible planets, sharing archetypal values from an esoteric perspective. The goal of this body of work is to provoke conversation about how the microcosm of the human body can be a catalyst for understanding our subtle and symbolic relationship with the universe.

The technique used to display the chakras is known as the Agaamogram. This Op Art strategy was popularized by Yaacov Agaam in the mid-20th century to invite viewers to reconsider their relationship to time. As one walks around the artwork, our rhythm defines how another image is constructed, defying the notion that there is an objective, linear trajectory of time. The ephemeral nature of the image contained in this technique is an appropriate way to discuss the idea of the chakra - it is an elusive encounter, one that requires an imaginative contemplation - an awareness that is not static or singular, but dynamic and fluctuating, somehow transcending our five primary senses and the limits of the rational mind.

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