MAZU, GODDESS OF THE EMPTY SEA Burning man project, 2015

In May 2015, I met Mazu’s Project Manager, Nathan Parker, in Taipai. Two months later, I arrived in Reno. My job was to document Nathan and a group of strangers building a massive piece of art for the Burning Man Festival, themed after the Asian goddess, Mazu. I had no idea what to expect…

LAPSE OF TIME - TWO WEEKS IN TWO MINUTES:

RENO, NV - THE GENERATOR
The building process took place at The Generator, a community arts and building space located outside of Reno.

FLORA AND FAUNA

LIVING ART

BUILD ART

GET TO WORK

WORKLOAD

John Julius Little assembles the 108 lanterns, provided by Texas artists Dave and Marrilee Archer, to light the temple perimeter.
Australian Matt Bray welds one of the 24 massive petals for the lotus flower that will crown the temple.
Paintmaster Shinobi ponders his options. His work will bring color and depth to the Temple, drawing out the grain of each piece of wood and the natural beauty hidden inside.
Rosie reclines in the Painted Petal Palace. Her workshop brings color to Mazu Temple's blossoming centerpiece, a 25-foot lotus flower rising above the desert landscape.
Art Director Charlie Nguyen lists his priorities as the Mazu team gears up for the final leg of the project. Finishing touches and intricate detail work lie ahead, pulling the design together and accenting each corner and corbel. Charlie will complete ALL items on the list.

Reno Carpentry Lead Josh Boyer polishes the wooden bwa bwei used for divination at the Mazu Temple. Even when grabbing precious down time at The Generator, the crew eschews idle hands, taking every opportunity to chisel away at the final product.

Nathan "Witch Doctor" Parker, project manager.
Chris “Kiwi” Hankins, Lead Architect of the Temple, rejoices in the progress of the project.

dragon SHOP

Sarah Kihls fabricates a steel dragon, one of eight that will perch on Mazu’s roofline.
KARINA AND COURTNEY

WRENCH. SARAH.

metal shop

MATT BRAY IS PULLING AN ALLNIGHTER
CHUCK
MATT

petal shop

After painting 24 lotus petals, Rosie Wendel only dreams in pink and white.

SKIN AND BONES

EACH PETAL WEIGHTS 240LB

THERE ARE 24 PETALS

WOOD SHOP

“We’re raising the bar for craftsmanship, detail and interactivity,”
"Throwing poe", also called "bwa bwei," or "cast moon blocks," is a traditional Chinese divination method, in which the divination seeker throws or drops two pieces of wood on the floor to read one’s fortune. The pieces are called "Poe" (Bwei) in Taiwanese.
Accelerometer stuffing
Set adrift in his own handiwork, Crack Baby reclines in one of his meticulously designed cabinets. Building the centerpiece of the fortune-telling aspects of the Mazu Temple, this modern Marat has fabricated much of the interior of the Temple and guaranteed supplicants the opportunity to ask the Goddess for answers to their innermost questions.
Carpentry Lead Goatt tests the man for authenticity.

piro shop

CHELSEA AND INSANE
DICK
CHELSEA, MATT, CARLY
ACCOMODATIONS

MORRIS BURNER HOTEL, RENO NV

JUNGLE JIM (JJ)=>
VISION
GTFO DAY

PACKING

AUG 16, 2015
PACKED AND READY TO GO
KIWI DENTAL
GENTLE LOAD
BLACK ROCK CITY, NV - THE PLAYA

STAGING

GERLACH, NV - STAGING TRAILERS

TRASH FIGHTING NINJAS

BURNING VAN

Rough start. The Kitchen RV burned down in Gerlach, just a few miles before The Playa. Along with most provisions and some crew possessions...
SACRIFICIAL BLOOD WAS SPILLED
Living quarters were running scarce. One day before departure, I was lucky enough to acquire the CLUSTER BUS from a local burner that served as an office and shelter.
AMBROSIA IS ENJOYING UNOBSTRUCTED PLAYA VIEW FROM THE CLUSTER BUS WHILE KYLE IS CONTEMPLATING MOSCOW MULES
MASHA FROM MOSCOW
TRANSIT
TRANSPORT

MATT C.

BASE WORK
TOUCHDOWN

GROUNDWORK

THE PLAN
FOUNDATION
FIRST BEAM
"TITS ON" - make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible
PETALS

LET IT FLOURISH

THUMBELINES

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

S AND C
CAMP DPA (DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ART)

CREATURE COMFORTS

THE NEW KITCHEN
<= BETA
VERSION 1.0
MATT ESCAPING REALITY
COUNTDOWN

FINAL TOUCHES

"If your question is deeper than a simple yes or no, you can instead pull a bamboo strip from a bundle of sixty, and find coordinates which will lead you to a poem, and then a location in Black Rock City, to find your answer. This ritual is based on the Qiu Qian, a traditional method of receiving the gods’ answers to your queries."
GREG AND KYLE ARE WIRING PETALS WITH LED STRIPS

CAMP TAIWANDERLUST

RUSTY
THE GUARDIANS ASSEMBLY

FESTIVITIES

ACCORDING TO UNCONFIRMED SOURCES, OVER 40 WEDDINGS TOOK PLACE IN MAZU

THE TRADITIONAL MAZU PARADE WAS HELD THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BURN
THE DREAM COMMUNITY
FIFTY TAIWANESE BURNING MAN VIRGINS

FIRE BREATHING GORDON

AFTER SOME DUSTY PREP WORK SHE BURNED...

PREP AND BURN

HYDRATION AND NUTRITION
SAFETY THIRD
DRAGONS ARE REPLACED AND MAZU IS STUFFED WITH FIREWOOD

LIGHT HER UP

THE CREW

METAMORPHOSIS

AFTER A SMOOTH DISMANTLING PROCESS, THE NEWLY FORMED ART IS TAKEN AWAY TO FIND A MORE PERMANENT HOME...

...THOUGH THERE'S STILL A LOT OF CLEANUP LEFT TO DO, THE DUST ALWAYS STAYS.

LUST FOR DUST

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ALEKSEY BOCHKOVSKY

Credits: Poetry - Tristan Bennett, Article Excerpts- The Hun
Created By
Aleksey Bochkovsky
Appreciate

Credits:

poetry: Tristan Bennett articles: The Hun

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