The horse in the gourd
Charlotte Dumas – The horse in the gourd
In Japanese there is a saying hyōtan kara koma, ‘a horse appearing from a gourd’. It is used when something completely unexpected, even unbelievable, happens. It refers to the legend of Chokara sennin, an immortal being who owns a horse that when necessary, he can conjure up as if by magic from a gourd. This expression reminds us that in life the unexpected can happen. Nature is as nature befits, fickle and unpredictable. To Charlotte Dumas this is an important principle.
The multidisciplinary work The Horse in the Gourd centres on the basic elements of life, its vulnerability and resilience. Using five peculiar objects bringing myth, imagination and the transient nature of life together. These objects make the past tangible and are instinctively united with each other. They are accompanied by other historic works, photos and prints from a wide variety of collections, as well as her own photographic works made over the past four years in Japan.