Incense,In Sense

Incense,In Sense: The extension of a person’s willingness.

Yu-Ching Peng

In terms of the Asian culture, the charming religious architectures and the praying activities are impressed in the general’s eye. Especially, the prayers in Taiwan usually adore an idol to visualize their belief. Thus, according to this situation, it made me challenge why we need to work with religious regulation, the models of god, and the celebration activities to re-shape our faith to respond to our value of belief? What if everyone could investigate their praying experience and comprehend their feeling while exploring in transcendental sensory? Then, applying their sensory to create a personal panorama, which is space fulfil with emotional and touching to a person’s faith.

About religious architectures, the prayers mainly understanding the beauty of divine space via viewings, such as light effects, detailed decorations, and volumes… Thus, based on the previously mentioned presumption, I aim to investigate beyond vision sensory to re-shape the space, trying to develop the possibility of spiritual experience, activating a personal engagement with the praying scenes which we get used to it before.

As stated in my spiritual experience, the small temple located in my community, which is full of my growing memories and emotional associations, is meaningful for me to analyze what emotions does it bring, and the secondary senses beyond the primary experience. After analyzing personal praying sensory with contained imagination, association, emotional reflection, I caught sight of incense, the main component of my praying experiments, which as the medium to activate the atmosphere, helping a person to build the temporary visualization to engage with their beyond vision sensory.

According to my praying prototyping, the incense could be seen as a symbolic media to investigate beyond vision sensory. As the smoke produced, it starts to play with the prayer body response, the collaboration of the praying participation re-shape the temporary religious routine, which performs the private, the spiritual space for us to get in beyond the concrete experience. ” How does incense act as a tangible bridge between the spiritual and material? ” the article called Scents, Community, and Incense in Traditional Chinese Religion highly supports my presumption of the incense influence. In the book, Meyer emphasizes that participants embody the belief by engaging the senses of the beholder and making the intangible tangible. Through this media, we demonstrate how incense can play a large role in forming and maintaining a sense of religious identity. Secondary, about the smell of the incense, Uri Almagor (1990, 253) has explored the connection between smell, memory, and emotion. He notes that smells can often trigger changes in mood, behavior, and thought. I also deconstruct the incense sticks, which made up of aromatic materials used for making incense are typically plant-based and can include a variety of resins, barks, seeds, roots, and flowers. The common component is cinnamon, frankincense, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and myrrh, which also be used as the medicine in the traditional Chinese culture, that is the reason why the smell of incense could influence the players’ mood and behavior. Thus, visual and smell perception plays a crucial role in worshippers’ burning of incense. Incense smoke and the smell of incense are the media through which to communicate with a deity. the reason for the prototyping of secondary scenes which based on the primary engagements.

Eventually, in agreement with my analysis, faith could be identified as a personal response to the surrounding, which comes from our spiritual reflection. Thus, my sensory examination aims to deconstruct our personality to re-visualized the space of faith and our emotional responses of the environment. In my incense studies, the smoke of incense redefined as an extension of a person’s willingness to re-shape the faith scenario. With the materiality responses, a person activation, and the environmental conditions, these factors collaborate beyond the physical experience, which giving us the methodology to re-seeing the original religious space in a different point of view, or providing the possibility to re-create the new functions on the faith area.

My praying investigation of incense smoke

According to my daily worship routine, I usually go to the small temple at midday or after work. The daytime and the night provide different types of light effects and wind blowing in the narrow alley, therefore, I plan to concentrate on the day, the night and the rainy scenes.

In my experiments of activating the incense smoke, the weather conditions and my engagements provide the diverse forms of intangible perspective, which influence the density, the height, and the colour of the smoke, collaborating the temporary panorama of divine understanding.



By activating the temporary panorama of personal responding on faith, I suddenly realised that space might not just be built in the physical world, or made up with the material, in order words, it might lose the aura to represent the personal response to the surrounding.
Space, such as I produced in the intangible perspective, could provide more emotional reflection, which was only be received by own, also be seen as a kind of space. It indicates the temporary, the changeable possibility to re-appreciating the aura of our religion.

Besides, I reconnected the secondary response I explored in the first impression collage. Aiming to re-verify my temporary panorama in an emotional understanding beyond the primary experience, giving more personality respond to the environment, giving more possibilities of re-creating the aura experience.

Another prototyping- Incense accessories

Except for the smoke investigations, I executed another prototyping to react to the extension of our willingness.

The incense acts as the tangible bridge between the material and spiritual space, promoting a person realises their emotional reflection to the surrounding. Based on the previously mentioned principle, I originate the prototyping to envision the incense smoke as an object, which reflected the theory of Gernot Böhme and Walter Benjamin: atmosphere aims to extend our quality of feeling, also as artwork for affecting individual participation. To visualize the personal extension, I intended to solid the incense. By adding the water, Methyl Cellulose and Gypsum, the ash of the incense concreting its form. Then, to show the extension of my body willingness, I shaped the incense on some part of my body in random and folded them.




After solidification, I reconnected these objects as our body extension of activating movements, re-defined them as the accessories, which performance our emotional reflection on the surrounding.



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