New Era Press Pte Ltd., Singapore, 2003, 22 pp.
The motif and subject of Chua's Lotus Series was adopted under the Visting Artists Programme (VAP) at STPI. The series was conceived when Chua was exploring the issues of cultural identity under his Masters programme at the University of Western Sydney in the mid 1990s. It developed with interesting variations throughout the late 1990s to the present.
The Being and Becoming: The Lotus Pond Series is of course, not only about the visual representation of the lotus - that definitive symbol of eastern cultures. In Chua's case, the lotus raises philosophical questions of existence that are rooted in Buddhist thought and precepts. The terms 'being' and 'becoming' are notions formulated in language simple yet powerful enough to convey certain metaphysical ideas of time and existence. Under these frameworks, 'time' is not a linear passage, unfolding chronologically and partitioned by concepts of past, present and future. Instead, Time is understood to occur at once - without beginning or end. There is no static existence as all life forms are in flux - shifting, transforming, 'becoming'.
Essay by Lindy Poh.