A Secular Age
A Secular Age
3 1/2 in. x 96 in.

A Secular Age is a neon sign spelling out the word “um” 5 times. The title is in reference to the philosophical tome of the same name by Charles Taylor.

Each “um” refers to the 5 religions formally recognized by the Chinese government: Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, Taoism, and Buddhism. The sign is meant to play on the word "Om," which is a sonic representation of the divine in Hinduism. I was interested in the irony of leveling each of these religions, and the complications that can arise when a secular institution sees them as equivalent.