Jason Phu interview in METAL Magazine

6 December 2019

Jason Phu was recently interviewed by Arnau Salvadó for METAL Magazine, discussing spirituality, heritage, the limits of humour and Chan Buddhism, in relation to his recent exhibition at STATION | Melbourne: 'I was born under a stone mountain'.

"The title refers to a few different things. Sun Wukong (Monkey King), one of the protagonists of Journey to the West (16th Century), was imprisoned under a stone mountain by Buddha for causing mischief. The characters in that book along with the bestiary Classic of the Mountains and Seas (4th Century) informed a lot of the figures in the paintings. I also drew from the common idiom, ‘Live under a rock’, as a way to reflect the new era of ignorance that I was born into and that I am a part of. I think my updated versions of these characters help me explain my identity – bringing thousand-year-old beings into the present, you would expect them to be confused. But at the same time, their stories are still relevant. That is the juxtaposition of the diaspora identity: things can feel right in spirit but the words and context don’t match up." – Jason Phu

Image: Jason Phu, 'i couldn’t find love, so i put on a robe, walked up the mountain, and became a hermit', 2019.