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Empty River

Hōnenin Temple, Kyoto, Japan


   All things in the world are constantly interacting with all other things. The sumtotal of these various interactions is what we call “nature.” Because everything is in constant flux, nature is empty of permanent existence.

   One classic example of this flux in nature is the carbon cycle. For instance, carbon is captured from the air by plants, which are in turn eaten by insects, which are eaten by animals, which return carbon to the air when they exhale.

   “Empty River” creates a physical expression of the invisible carbon cycle through the medium of a river of pure carbon charcoal.

   The history of Hōnen’in dates back to 1680, originally associated with the Jōdo sect but now independent. PLEASE NOTE:  The interior of the temple is only open to the public during April 1 to 7 and November 18 to 24 each year.

Video: Making Empty River

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