The Ways of Art

A Falun Dafa Practitioner

PureInsight | August 27, 2001

I am very glad that we can discuss problems in the arts together based on the principles of the Fa. I only follow inspiration from Dafa in creating my works and I have not yet developed systematic theories about it. If we can discuss art together from now on and thus continuously make our thoughts on it clearer, deeper, more definite, and systematic, based on the principles of the Fa, it will be a great thing.

What I learned in college was the technique of traditional realistic painting and the method of reproducing reality. Later I felt this method was too limited for the full expression of the mind and sentiments. Then I began to study western modern art, and found that it really broadened the ability of art to express many things. However, I also found that lots of its formats and contents were really bad things. So I decided to take the essences of oriental and western cultures, reject the dross of both and create a new artistic language for expressing my own understanding of the cosmos and life. Of course it is exploratory. I was also worried that I might make mistakes due to possibly incorrect enlightenment to Fa's principles. Since everybody has given pretty positive feedback about this exhibition, I guess their responses can be counted as recognition and encouragement of my explorations.

I think that ancient Grecian sculpture technique was very good and beautiful. Nonetheless, although it described the stories of deities, its content was full of erotic desire and enmity, and represented the people of that time's degenerated opinions. Through the European medieval ages, the content of religious art was restricted by religion and its format and technique were highly formalized. In modern times, artists have paid more attention to the expression of real feelings and the technique has also become more flexible. Of course, artists began to indulge their own erotic desires. As human beings excessively pursued the realization of their individuality up through the 20th century, some artists became anti-tradition. Thence arose impressionism and abstract art.

The development and variations in the art of sculpture go hand in hand with political changes, industrial development, and scientific progress. They are not only reflected in the utilization of materials and techniques, but in variations in expression of human mentality. Sculpture is in harmony with the human mentality and the surrounding environment. Human morality is declining at a tremendous pace. With the distorted human mentality, many ugly things are praised highly in some public places.

I think the development of modern art and display science are almost on the same track and have the same characteristics. If art is said to be a whole, impelled by certain mental characteristics, artists may dig out one of its facets, consciously or not, and then broaden and strengthen that facet to becoming a special style or genre. It is a one-sided and incomplete expression. But from the viewpoint of ordinary people, this really uncovers some new artistic principles, enriches the language of art and broadens its expressive capability.

I think that key point is not the format itself. What it represents is important. A traditional realistic sculpture can represent the sublimity of life as well as vulgar feelings. People with distorted mentality can promote an ugly thing such as a pile of trash or a human skull as art. We also can utilize all kinds of materials, collect experience from all times in all countries and create a new kind of language format for expressing profound contents that cannot be expressed by standard formats. It looks as if the aliens produced the computer, but we can utilize its functions during the whole process of Fa- rectification. I have found thoughtful western artists who have tried to find or express, by all kinds of means, more profound thoughts than ordinary people. But they are not practitioners. They really have no way to get there. It's like one person in a closed box. No matter how he struggles, he can't pry the shell off the physical space in which human beings exist.

Some artists have tried their best to manipulate their sub-consciousness' to paint, even anesthetizing their main consciousnesses with drugs and alcohol. This artist's behavior, not knowing what he himself paints, is very dangerous. Maybe spirit possession or foreign messages are controlling him or he impulsively mobilizes his demon nature. However, all people are attracted to extravagant stimulation, especially when the stimulants are boosted by the aberrant theories of "the critics" and the media's proclaiming the "hot news". What do everyday people know? Once things are hyped up, they accept them. This unorthodox thought will become an opinion, then a theory and then a criterion. Ordinary people wander in the maze just like this. Aren't even those works that describe history and reality "galloping across the universe of feeling"? Artists only aim at finding a profoundly affecting scenario or a theme catering to aberrant human mentality. As society becomes more and more commercialized, the more and more intense becomes the mutually stimulatory circulation between the production and demand for mental opium. So art becomes the reflection of and catalyst for demoralization. (to be continued)

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