Between years 2000 and 2012 I had several workshops on life drawing with Peruvian sculptor and aikido master Carmen Herrera. One of her greatest teaching, inspired by Taoism[1] and Japanese aikido ideas, is that illusion only happens when we see the surface; we can train our eyes in order to see the inner structure, the source of movement, where they come from and where they are going to. Carmen Herrera, in my opinion, has a very particular understanding of the human body and art in the 21st century. She has dedicated her life to study the human body’s anatomy and the inner structure of movement. Perceiving our immateriality through our materiality, the understanding of the spiritual by learning how to see the physical. It is through the physical she trespasses to see the world beyond. At a further point of her teachings, there is no difference between matter and essence anymore. She has created a fusion between the Western interest for science with the human anatomy representation, and Eastern Taoist aesthetics and calligraphy.

I visited her studio, in Lima, over a period of 10 years, following the long processes of the same extraordinary wooden sculptures. I am interested in her ideas and research on life drawing of the human body and wood carving sculpture.[2]She introduced me to Taoist aesthetics, which explain the aesthetic experience as being a direct source of deep knowledge. I belief this has created a more liberated view in my perception of what surrounds me. Because of this, I think the creative art processes can emancipate our way of thinking. The Taoist painters and poets talked about nature revealing itself and opening constantly to show its inner essence. It is about learning to perceive. Reading the Tao Te King[3] by Lao Tse, teaches me that the material experience is a pure source of knowledge.


[1] ("Daoism (or Taoism) is the only truly native Chinese set up beliefs. Its ideas and practices grew out of early debates about the Dao or ‘way’. For the philosopher Laozi (born c. 604 BC) the Dao was the ‘way’ of all things, the innate pattern of nature and the universe. Different strands of Daoism developed over the centuries; some practiced philosophical Daoism, retiring from the world to live as hermits, while others sought immortality through magic, diet and alchemy..."), British Library, The Sir John Ritblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library. Text extracted from the display of the Illuminated Manuscripts: China & Japan, sacred texts, Daoism.

[2] Despite her remarkable work, she has little presence in the Peruvian art scene; there are no publications of her work yet. I have to make clear that I strongly acknowledge her influence in how I understand my own work, and for the reasons mentioned above, I am not able to make an academic reference to her direct teachings and influence.

[3] Verse 1 from the Tao Te King written by Lao Tse: "The Tao that can be known is not the Eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name. The Nameless was the beginning of Heaven and Earth. It was named and became the Mother of the ten thousand things. With no desire in the heart the spirit of the Eternal Tao may be seen. With desire only the Tao that can be named is known. They bear the same yet in their origin they are different. They are one. This is the great mystery. Within this mystery is the gateway of all spiritual knowledge." Manners, D and Ault, M (1948: I) The book of Tao and Teh. Being the Tao Teh King of Lao Tse done into English. Kent: The Order of the Great Companions.








    untitled; charcoal on paper, 81 x 116cm | Lima 2011



untitled; charcoal on paper, 81 x 116cm | Lima 2012



untitled; charcoal on paper | Lima 2012



 untitled; charcoal on paper, 116 x 81cm | Lima 2012










Jaime Miranda,

Jaime Miranda Bambaren,