Mariko Mori

Fondazione Prada

Purification, initiation, and illumination: In the Buddhist tradition, these are the three steps to enlightenment. They are also the subject—rarely tackled in art with such clarity—of Mariko Mori’s multimedia installation at the Fondazione Prada. Laid out in three rooms, the entire exhibition is pervaded by a sense of immateriality. In Enlightenment Capsule, 1998, a pastel-petaled lotus flower appears to float, illuminated from above, in a transparent oval capsule. The open lotus flower, hovering impalpably in the void, serves as a metaphor for an awakening of the soul.

Mori translates the ineffable experience of enlightenment into images of pristine beauty. Viewers embark on a mystical journey at a slow tempo, often in silence. In the large first room, Garden of Purification, 1999, is a path of fifty-one resin stones of various colors, leading the visitor through a sort of Zen garden whose

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