MyLoan Dinh

MyLoan Dinh

Deeds and Prayers, (2022)
Bamboo, cotton string, wooden beads, bamboo lanterns, found objects



Artist’s Notes


This room is designed to be a place of respite and reflection of the work and themes in the exhibition.  Equally important, it is intended to be a catalyst to unite prayer and action. Within the installation,  visitors are invited to participate in stringing 2 or more beads onto the hanging strands of cotton string  from the bamboo ceiling structure. Bead 1 for a prayer, Bead 2 for a deed/action.


This quiet room can deceivingly feel like a place for “Thoughts and Prayers” an expression intended to show sincere empathy but has frequently devolved into a hallow gesture of indifference and too often trivializing loss. While I personally believe it is necessary to offer such a space for respite, it provides only a passing moment in which visitors can choose to participate in private silent prayer but that cannot replace action.  


Vietnamese monk and activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, known as the father of modern mindfulness,  founded “applied Buddhism,” a practice in which mindfulness is put into action by advocating for others and to actually address the societal suffering that exists in the world. A fairly different approach to Western Buddhists interpretation of Buddhist teachings as purely individual liberation.  


Although I am a Buddhist monk, I am skeptical that prayers alone will achieve world peace. We need instead to be enthusiastic and self-confident in taking action. – Dalai Lama, 2018 


Pope Francis regularly calls his followers to intertwine their prayer and works. Prayer that doesn’t  lead to concrete action toward our brothers is a fruitless and incomplete prayer, he said in 2013.  


The process and development of prayer through communal bead stringing by individuals from different backgrounds, ages and faiths over the duration of the exhibition is important to me. Even a small intentional act/deed coupled with a personal prayer by way of a bead is worth documenting and honoring.  


– MyLoan Dinh