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In I Ching’s Book of Change, the concept of change means that the universe is an open system that is self-generative and self-transformative. Human beings must live with continuous change, and because change takes place in an orderly manner, human beings must find a way to understand their patterns. And finally, patterns of change are discernible, and human beings will find peace and comfort in everyday life.
Anthony So is interested in I Ching’s concept of change where to him all things are naturally nurtured to produce their own shapes. To get inspiration, Anthony likes to walk along the streams, especially the Oirase Gorge in Aomori, Japan. During his excursions, he often comes across the beauty of plants and animals and other people who sit on the natural rocks and have their rests.
The river scene with water flowing down from the upper cliff, and under the clear water are the rocks. The rocks have been washed by water for a long time and become polished pebbles. The idea of constant flow and change becomes an analogy of how people grow up and become smooth through social training.
However, Anthony said, “This is a bit different from what I have learned by observing pebbles. Undoubtedly, the long-term impact of running water is inevitably tempering, but the stone’s composition is not single. Some are softer, and the others are harder. Take a closer look at Oirase pebbles. Despite the turbulent water flow, the rock in the stream has been washed away for thousands of years, and the soft is eliminated. The stone’s shaping is passive, and it is the hardest essence of the stone to be left behind. I think it is the ‘will of the stone’.” This will also change the flow of water, and even a wonderful life grew on the stone.”
Anthony has created works based on this feeling, and the “pebbles” small flower ware are born. Forging metal with hammering, thousands of tempers are like long-term scouring. The metal gradually takes shape, but the material still retains the original extraordinary tension. As a craftsman, he often feels that creation is a dialogue with the work rather than a one-way operation. The finished small flower vessel is shaped like a stone in the river, combining the people and materials’ will. To fill with plant and delight, the vessel has a Zen sense and reflects the rock’s vitality in the Oirase stream. He hopes that his works can add beauty to everyone’s lives and nourish the soul and strengthen the will.