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Raqib Shaw 'Black Pine specimen bonsai at the Sausage Factory, spring 2016' (2016)


Raqib Shaw
Black Pine specimen bonsai at the Sausage Factory, spring 2016
Edition of 50
Sugar lift etching on Hahnemuhle White 300gsm paper
Plate size: 30 x 25 cm | 11 13/16 x 9 13/16 in.
Paper size: 54.8 x 47.8 cm | 21 9/16 x 18 13/16 in.
Signed and numbered
Published by White Cube, 2016

Since 2012 Raqib Shaw has been passionately collecting and maintaining Bonsai trees. This particular specimen, the Black Pine Bonsai, was grown from a small plant at Kinkaku-ji, Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. 

Shaw’s inspiration for this etching comes from Yukio Mishima’s novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Based on real-life events, it is the story of a young acolyte who develops an obsession with the perfection of the architecture of the temple. The novel deals with themes of beauty and aesthetics and how these enable the transcendence to true enlightenment. Shaw takes this concept and applies it to his portrayal of Black Pine Specimen in an attempt to capture this sense of idealised beauty and perfection. The delicacy of the carefully pruned branches, almost calligraphic in style, are complemented by the detail of the etched pine needles. Of the practice of carrying for his Bonsai trees, Shaw says it has ‘a profound effect on my internal silence – they assist me in my quest to find a deeper understanding of my own art practice and my desire to achieve perfection.’

This edition is sold unframed. For further information please contact us here.