39,390 breaths between June 13, 2011 and March 8, 2012
graphite on rice paper
8 x 8 inches
Col. Davis Art Museum, Wellesley College
The Tonglen series are durational drawings where I record my own breaths to capture time. The titles of the drawings are the number of breaths followed by the dates between which they are recorded. I create the drawings in marathon sessions lasting up to 12 hours. Tonglen mediation is a Buddhist practice of compassion in which one breathes in others' pain, and breathes out relief from that pain. The Tonglen drawings capture the residue left behind by each breath.
All images copyright Jill O'Bryan