Catrine Val
The female wisdom

The Palace of the mind

Film
Photo

The Space Between Us
The Installation The Palace of the mind was inspired by the Chinese expression of Daoism and the belief that meditation and the pursuit of beauty play a vital role in human development. I found this solitude inside the only Daoist nun’s school of a monastery in China, where I was first person ever granted permission to film them.  These shots of female wisdom are combined with the students of the famous Kung Fu school in the majestic heaven of the  Chinese Wudang Mountains. Daoist philosophy finds expression through the practice of mediation, Kung Fu, Thai Chi and calligraphy all regarded as deeply spiritual activities to be performed in harmony with the natural environment. Kung Fu has always been a spiritual and moral component in the Chinese intellectual history. This stems from an understanding of the human condition as being inextricably enfolded in a matrix of cosmic power and creativity with one fundamental question: Where is the Way? A fundamental aspect of Daoism is the harmony between opposites, the interplay of Yin and Yang, which underpins their belief in the duality of life.

With the growth of environmental concerns in modern times I believe Daoism provides a sensible way of looking at the human relationship with the natural world.  As despoliation of the planet is a universal problem Daoism’s holistic way of looking at the world seems particularly appropriate today.