31 century museum: Inner World

No past, No present, No future (Perform without perform)

Language : ENGLISH : THAI


I was inspired by a book called ‘The Path is the Goal’ by Chogyam Trungpa. The following is a content from one of the dialog within the book;

Student : You mean everything we do is theater.
Trungpa : Yes, except meditating.

From this phrase, I understand that this world is a stage and everyone is an actor abiding by various rules within our consciousness like moral, law, beliefs, etc., except when we are meditating. Meditation is the only state where we are free from rules and are one with nature.

I’ve been trying to understand if the state of liberation from all rules really does exist and if so, how shall we accomplish it and what use will come of it? I’ve been pondering over this for two years by researching books on Bhavana (spiritual cultivation) and the present moment. I’ve been trying to find out what the present moment is and how the state of non-illusory thoughts can occur by practicing daily in observing and sitting meditation.

found that thoughts produce the consciousness of time, the past, the present and the future, which is the cause of ‘self’. We understand that there is the concept of time because there are partitions of experiences emerging within them. This makes us think that times exist from the perception of the observer and the observed (subjective and objective). Thus, the way to reach selflessness and go beyond time is to stop all illusory thoughts starts by observing the inhaling and exhaling of the No past, No present, No future (Perform without perform) breath until breath itself vanishes, the observer vanishes and everything fuses into one.

I made a realistic sculpture of myself in a naked sitting meditation pose as a symbol of freedom from cultural rules and the dichotomy of beliefs, whether they be good-bad, beautiful-ugly, right-wrong, etc., and of a return to the beginning of nature. I took it to perform inside a museum. To me, the sculpture’s pose is the behavior of no performing, but if I took the pose to perform it, would it still be considered as non-performing?

Later, I considered adding some live performance into the exhibition. I If I were to really sit naked in the museum instead of the sculpture, would I be in a state of performing or non-performing? What would define that state as free from rules and is one with nature? The reason of my live performance is to experience this truth by myself.

From early 6 o’clock until 5 pm, I traveled from Chiang Mai to Paris on the 26th of March, 2015. As soon as I got to the hotel, I went to Palais de Tokyo museum and headed straight to where my sculpture was exhibited. I placed the sculpture underneath its platform, undressed myself and sat on the platform in place of the sculpture from a quarter to seven pm until ten to eleven pm. At first, I hesitated, because I stated earlier to the exhibition’s curator that if I felt embarrassed or dared not to perform in the crowd, it would be considered as part of the performance, hence I called it ‘perform without perform’. It is not a performance to show others, but it is a performance to learn and understand the truth within myself. The curator said I sounded tricky by going to the exhibition and not performing. I insisted that I wasn’t, because I had told them in advance that there might not be any performance and I had the rights to choose in doing so depending on the circumstances of the time. They also had the right to not let me participate in this exhibition before we made the deal.

I thought of so many factors to do it or not, because I was well aware of the precarious issues that existed. Many people might not understand the meaning of my work and I could be taken as someone who just wants to pursue fame or boast about his practice, especially with sitting nakedly in meditation. It would be very high price I knew I had to pay in order for me to earn this lesson that I almost decided not to board the plane to France at the very last minute. Finally, I decided to go and quench this curiosity which might have stayed with me forever if I hadn’t addressed it.


My intention was to sit as long as I could, whether it is ten minutes or one hour, according to the environment and the factors at the time. When I started to undress myself, put the sculpture away under its platform and went on to sit there instead, my audience consisted only about ten people, all looking quite surprised. There hadn’t been any announcement to the public earlier. Only the curator and his assistant knew about it. As soon as I started to meditate, I noticed and felt sounds. The sound within me was the pounding sound of my heart beat. The sound outside of me was very loud like the sound of people talking, camera flashes, music, the sound of other exhibitions and performances and the opening party.

That moment, I felt confused. The embarrassment and many questions within me kept pouring into my brain. I tried to focus on my breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly, staying in the moment, for it’s the only entrance to peacefulness. If the breath is focused, all else would just fall into its place. I stayed in the present moment by observing my breath until it fused into one with me. I became conscious again when I started to doze off and woke up opening my eyes, so I decided to stop.
The total amount of time I spent was almost four hours which was also to my surprise. Then I put the sculpture back up on its platform. 


In conclusion, I still could not figure out if the state of time when I was sitting in that high level of meditation could be considered as timeless or not. Time did still exist then, only it transcended the dimension of past, present and future. There were no experiences of thoughts and it was beyond the consciousness of the observer, so the experiences could not be based on any dimensions of time whether the past, present or future. Therefore, while I was sitting there, even though the time outside of me passed for several hours, but the time dimension within me that had no past, no present, no future, seemed to have passed only a short while.

After the performance, I headed straight back to the hotel without greeting or talking much to anyone. The next morning, I met Tisna Sanjaya, an Indonesian artist that also participated in this exhibition. He told me I was Little Buddha, that I was a Buddhist but a naked one, which is even more political than politic arts. He said that I had the best work around. I didn’t know if he really meant what he said or was he just joking and teasing me, so I just politely smiled in return and each went our ways.

Later in the afternoon, I went back to the exhibition to see if I should take on another live performance,which I decided not to because I have already learned from it so there wouldn’t be any need to do more. I met Tisna again. He was doing a live performance right across my work by inviting the people from the audiences to make a prayer. He would then wave a big plastic bag in the air to gather the prayers those people made into many plastic bags and hang them everywhere around his exhibition space.

At first, I felt his work was very idealistic and visionary. He invited me to also take part in making some prayers for this world. So I wished that ‘everyone would find their peace within’. He washed my feet and wiped it dry, and then kissed my feet. I was so surprised that he did this to all his participants, so I asked if he kissed every participant’s feet or not. He replied that in his life,he had only kissed three people’s his mother, his teacher and me. His words made me feel his sincerity towards his belief and expressions. I felt that his faith towards me was far more than what I had for myself. I didn’t think I was worthy enough for him.

We had further conversation during the performance, he asked me if I believe that both our art could change the world? I said I didn’t know what changes it would bring to this world. But for that moment what he did to me changed my opinion towards him and myself from before. I think it’s the positive energy of faith and his honesty of expression that changed me, and if it can change me, then it should also be able to change this world.

On the evening of Sunday, 29th of March, I met him at the front of the hotel where he stayed. We both were leaving back home the next morning, so I decided to ask him out for dinner and get to know each other better. He said he was busy writing an article for the newspaper back home, he had to report about this trip here and share his experiences to students and people that have lesser opportunities and broaden their knowledge. He was behind the deadline. I said he had to eat anyway so he could always come back to finish it later. He apologized for his personality, because he came here not only for his work but also for the people of his country.


I was very impressed by his sacrlice and devotion for others. I looked at myself and asked why I came here to perform. It was for me, for the curiosity within me. All I had done was still performance, because I still felt the uneasiness in my mind both before and after my live performance. While I was trying to understand the truth through sitting meditation, Tisna already obtained the truth and was naturally free beyond the rules within him. What he demonstrated was full of the power of faith, confiffiidence, sacrififfiice, devotion and purity, free from any egocentric notions. What he did was beyond art and time, it wasn’t a performance but it was Bhavana. Bhavana is not only sitting meditation, but it includes every gesture of the activity that we fuse ourselves as one with. And I believe that this is the origin of true creativity.


11 April 2015

Share Published on Feb 20, 2017 at 2:24 am.
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