With this series Pryor addresses the issue of trans or inter culturalism in
which the presence of a multiple aesthetic and perspective determines
the visible outcome. By examining this theme Pryor hopes to witness the
unknown aspects of Chinese culture. By offsetting this culture against
the American, he points out the more obvious differences and
similarities in order to ascertain their make-up. To Pryor both locations
hold great personal meaning. He depicts specific areas of Sag Harbor,
New York next to the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing that he
has continuously visited since 1986.
The Transasia Stacks series comprises 27x40” digital photographic prints
in editions of three. One of the most poignant of these contains the
rutted snowy landscape of Sag Harbor superimposed by an image of a
Guanyin in typical flowing robes with a flame nimbus in place of a halo.
Pryor’s work offsets the earthly and the divine in an image of great beauty
and transparency. The snowy background in its nebulous shape is
juxtaposed against the circular pale blue circular shape in which the
Guanyin is situated. So that, there exists a type of push/pull between
shapelessness and structure, materiality and transparency, solid and void
much like the yin and yang of the Daodejing.
Pryor’s relationship to his surroundings is a key concept that colors his
world to a great extent. He lives in the midst of Manhattan yet in his free
time he seeks tranquility and peace in Sag Harbor, Long Island. His
meditative imagery is analogous to the Daoist ethical path that was
echoed by Walt Whitman’s pantheism in the late 19th Century. This
philosophy embraces the idea that all life, even the seemingly inert, is
imbued with spirit. Daoism has been embedded in Chinese history and
tradition for many centuries and Pryor parallels its concepts by according
the landscape respect.