IBASHO presents the exhibition Mukayu by the Dutch photographer Paul Cupido.
Mukayu has been Cupido’s spiritual guideline during his most recent travels to Japan, resulting in his latest series to be exhibited and published. The concept of mukayu is beautifully explained in a quote by the famous Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, who lived 2,300 years ago: “An empty room will be filled with light because of its emptiness.” Mukayu also refers to ‘non-existence’, ‘not having a purpose’, or ‘things as they are’.
Mukayu is part of the larger framework of Mu, a philosophical concept that could be translated as ‘does not have’, but is equally open to countless interpretations. Mu can be considered a void, but one that is full of potential.
Cupido has taken these concepts to search for his meaning of life while travelling through Japan, admiring and photographing the aspects of ‘mono no aware’: the transience of everything, the gentle melancholy of things and their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.
For Cupido photographing is about spontaneity, of walking outside with his small camera, breathing, playing, trusting, letting go and seeing what happens. His photos are an echo of his feeling that he wishes to communicate to the viewer, not a depiction of what he saw at the moment of pushing the button. Photography fits Cupido’s projects because of its non-linearity, emphasising the fundamental circularity of life.
With his series and accompanying book ‘Searching for Mu’ Cupido graduated cum laude at the Fotoacademie Amsterdam in 2017. His second artist book, ‘Continuum’ (2019), was the next step of his journey into his inner self. Mukayu is part three of Cupido’s venture, containing modest, ephemeral, poetic works, printed with the utmost attention and precision. The book with different papers has a gentle flow, merging separate images into one, aiming to transfer the acceptance of ‘things as they are’.
Paul Cupido: MUKAYU
29 October - 20 December
Tolstraat 67, 2000 Antwerp