The iChing, 64, and the Wheel of Fortune

March 28th, 2012 § 0 comments

An interesting performance piece took place at the corner of 40th and Walnut in Philadelphia last week.

Over the course of 64 minutes, 64 people held black and white umbrellas each bearing one of the iChing’s 64 hexagrams.

During the piece, artist Huang Rui spoke for 64 seconds to each umbrella holder. I don’t know what he said, but maybe it was a message from the hexagram that that person was holding.

And unfortunately, I’m not at all sure what Huang was actually trying to express with his piece, though it looks to me like he was bringing the iChing to life.

#10 Wheel of Fortune from the Smith Waite Tarot

But if I consider it from a Tarot perspective, and think of all those 64’s, my mind turns to the Wheel of Fortune. After all, 6 plus 4 equals 10, the number of the Wheel.

And what of all those umbrellas, aren’t they just like little wheels on a stick?

The correlation fits nicely given that the iChing is known as the Book of Changes. The Wheel of Fortune is also all about change, both good and not so good.

As it spins, situations and opportunities of every type present themselves, not unlike those represented by the 64 hexagrams in the ancient book.

I’m pretty sure Huang didn’t mean to make such a connection, but interpreting art is very much like reading a Tarot card. More often than not, meaning is found in the eye of the beholder.

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