New York

Mel Chin

Loughelton Gallery

It might take volumes to explicate Mel Chin’s ambitious installation “The Operation of the Sun Through the Cult of the Hand,” 1987—to explain all the careful details and their symbolic and associative significance. Although such an investigation would be justified by Chin’s complex network of references, much of the poetry of his art would be lost in the translation. The installation consisted of nine works, named after the nine planets, that represent a distillation of myriad Eastern and Western concepts spanning centuries of religious, scientific, and cultural history. Chin has delved into the body of knowledge that has arisen out of humanity’s ever-changing relationship with the cosmos and, bringing together ideas that he has gathered in the course of his explorations, created an inspired synthesis.

The installation, inasmuch as it represents any one thing, is about the nine planetary

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