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Sound of Heart

Author: Liang Shaoji Translator: Lu Jiang 2021

When wandering through the pinewood and bamboo forest at Guoqing Temple, I often hear the soughing of wind in the pines and bamboos. After the waves of sound have passed, I am still intoxicated in it, with my eyes half-closed. At the moment, there seems to be vibrant bamboo flutes before my eyes, gradually lining up and suddenly disappearing in silence, back to the origin of heaven and earth - “yuan” (元).

Art is a form of sensation. The sensation of mind is the origin (元) of the five human senses. Zhuangzi once said, “Listen not by ears but by mind; deal with the world with state of void; this is the meditation of mind.” Illuminated by ‘the origin of god’, both the heavenly sound of wind in pines and bamboos and the human sound of perceiving life, nature, and civilization transform into ‘the most beautiful sound of silence’ (大音希声) in the rhythm of flow, growth, alienation, entropy, and reincarnation. Hence, ‘Sound of Heart’ can be interpreted as the soundless inner movement of the world and the poem of life.

Thus, I hang bamboos of different lengths, life spans, and forms in the midair. Some bamboo strips are in the shape of circular cube, while some are halved and curved; some retain tips and green leaves, while some are burned into bamboo charcoal. Its array resembles stairs, musical scales, strangely silent orchestra pit, or pan flute’s internal structure. When the audience slowly step into it to comprehend the towering melody, they are bound to experience fantastic moments.

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