Do We Still Have Our Budahha(duo work)

Hangzhou, China, 2021

In the whole series, we discussed the collapse of modern people’s spiritual beliefs and the worship of media.  We virtualize spiritual beliefs into the icon of the महामायूरी Mahāmāyūrī who is a god of Buddhism. She is recognized as the symbol of holiness and wisdom, and according to her original story ( Originated from Nepal, one of the pañcarakṣā gods),  the difference between her and other guardian gods is that she has a big group of pagans. At the same time, In some Chinese literary works (like WU SHAN WU XING), peacock, especially the feathers of peacocks are considered to have the ability to bewitch people. This contradictory characteristic fits our acknowledgment of  the relationship between spiritual belief and media worship: to a certain extent, the media uses the image of spiritual belief to expand the influence on the masses.

The media use its own characteristics (government approval, authenticity, simulation guidance, etc.) to create conviction had happened before in China: In the 1990s, there was a crazy wave of Qigong in China. Under the combined effect of newspapers, community leaders, and community marketing, the people were too active in participating in Qigong activities, which eventually stimulated a kind of uselessness and absurd belief. In 2021, people are immersed in the highly-developed world of technology and online media, and the influence of media covering the whole people is coming again: an invisible media god visits the world. In our fictional story, we put the traditional god and the media god in opposite positions, but their identities is ambiguous.

The lack of spiritual sustenance and beliefs of contemporary people has been accumulating in the online world. New types of "belief" gradually cover the influence of traditional gods on people. As a result, traditional gods have become weak, and the media has even turned into the image of gods. At the end of the series, the coat of the god( Mahāmāyūrī ) was abandoned in the surging river. Of course, we have maintained a pessimistic attitude towards the struggle between spiritual beliefs and the media, but we have also issued a follow-up question: where will our faith go?

“Urbana Locus Amoenus”, group exhibition, Exhibition View in  Guardian Art Center, Beijing, China 
Finalist, Chiri Photography Award,2021

: jiaqingmo

©️Jiaqing Mo 2023