Translucent Whales Hold Shipwrecks and Underwater Scenes Inside Their Bodies

Tokyo University of the Arts student Isana Yamada recently revealed his work for the school’s final exhibition. Called 輪廻 Samsara, a Buddhist term for “cycle of existence”, his piece features 6 translucent whales swimming in a slow circle.

Embeded inside each whale’s resin body are undersea scenes, including a volcano, clouds and a shipwreck, with each symbolizing one stage in the repeating six realms of existence when following the Buddhist path of reincarnation. In this tradition, one can be born into six different psychological states or aspects of Buddhist cosmology: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hells.

Where did Isana get the inspiration for this project? You don’t need to look any further than his name: “Isana” is an old Japanese word for “whale.” It is composed of two Chinese characters, the first one meaning “brave” and the second meaning “fish.”

See this artwork on display again at the Artcomplex Center of Tokyo, beginning March 1, 2016.

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Be sure to also see Isana Yamada’s previous series, “Isana“:

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(via My Modern Met)

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