‘Gravitations (Scrolls)’ is an exploration into reverse enlightenment. Inspired by research into black LED’s and DMT trips, the work reverse engineers typical images of enlightenment, where the bearer is engulfed in light. In ‘Gravitations’ this idea is distorted to become a negative ascension, where darkness replaces the light that should be created.


The work is an installation consisting of two illuminated hanging photographic portrait series, with glow in the dark details. The figure is initially dehumanised by an almost fetishistic mask that isolates the face from the body. The mask is coated in fine black scales that appear animal-like, implying either a hybrid or a de-evolved form. The figures emit their own subtle light, further enhancing the idea of enlightenment and ascension.


Overtime the figure disintegrates and becomes unidentifiable. She reaches a proposed new form of existence where her image and body are no longer tangible. This abstraction of her physical identity is suggestive of the Zen teaching that in order to attain enlightenment, one must first ‘destroy the self’. From this a supposedly beautiful process becomes dark and violent.

© 2019 by Sian Fan.