Painting walls white is not a creation, but an annihilation. White walls painted to completion literally disappear, no longer walls, becoming empty space. There is no creation and no artist. There is no longer any object, nor any doer.
In the middle of the third coating of paint, the walls were still blatant. I started to wonder how many coats of paint it would take, to paint the walls that still elusive white. I asked myself if I was imagining too much; after all, it’s a cheap apartment, I might move out anytime, and paint is expensive.
How much white was I expecting from the walls? What exactly was the white I was expecting?
Yet, feeling an inevitable potentiality, something still unknown, I continued, holding faith in the third coat. After all, things happen in threes, not in fours.
As I coated and caressed the walls through their third painting, they started to shine. A glow illuminated them, not from outside, but from inside. I suddenly felt I could pass inside them, literally pass through them and enter inside. Glowing blank canvases, whatever I painted on them would be real, and I could go inside it. The walls were pure space.
This is it, I thought excitedly. This, … is White.
Pure white becomes empty space. Infinite, indefinite, illimitable.
Painting white walls in perfection is the no-self of creation; the annihilation of both art and artist.
There is nothing that says, This is What I Did, and there is nothing that says, I Did This.
The wall itself has disappeared into emptiness, pure voluminous emptiness.
The painter, in perfect ideal, has disappeared inside it, and where before was the self, is only infinite potentiality. Luminosity.
A few spatters away from perfection, however, the painter’s signature lies, not on the walls that are not there, but, on the floor.
Spatters of the wall as it gave way to the white, as if to mark the way back, they contrast with the magnetic pull of the infinite walls, a tiny reminder of this (clumsy) self and non-creation.
Eyes looking back up where before there were walls, I am vast open white space. There is no more wall, and no more me, and nothing done by me, only, infinite potential.
Luckily, the paint splatters rub off the tatami.
But, I think I’ll keep them there, to mark the way back.