A Discussion on Works For the Dafa Art Exhibition -- Creating Excellent Works That Display Dafa Disciples' Wisdom

Preparatory Committee for Dafa

PureInsight | June 16, 2003

[PureInsight.org] After the solicitation for Dafa artwork was published, many artists have sent in photographs of their past work. We have also received many emails and faxes. Some had questions to ask, some discussed how difficult it is to rise above the confusion in their minds that was brought on by layer after layer of warped notions, and some shared their personal opinions on the art exhibition based on their understanding of the Fa. Some described their own plan of creating artwork and talked about how we should collaborate together, cooperate as a whole body, and enhance the quality of the artwork used in the exhibition. Both the contributions of artworks and the exchanges of ideas have been very active. It is very touching to witness the high level of enthusiasm that many artists have displayed for participating in the art exhibition and their pure heart in treating the process of creating the artwork as a solemn, serious cultivation experience. We are eagerly looking forward to the birth of even more Dafa artistic masterpieces.

During the exchange of ideas, we discovered that the most confusing issue to many people is still what constitutes a "traditional method." We'd like to share our understanding on this subject.

The main reason that we asked that the artwork be created using traditional methods, without having any trace of modern artistic method mixed in, is that modern art is extremely distorted. As we are confronted with this situation, we Dafa disciples should think about how to escape the constraints imposed by our warped notions, eliminate our demonic natures, and use the pure hearts that we have obtained through cultivation to create artworks that display our real experiences and the high-level understandings of Fa principles. We should apply those things that we have attained through studying the Fa, conducting genuine cultivation, and participating in activities to spread the Fa and assist in Fa-rectification. Dafa encompasses everything, which certainly includes theoretical principles, rules and standards for art. While creating the artwork, we should therefore use the Fa to measure ourselves at all times. In his Fa-lectures, while talking about the decline in human morality and deviations in human notions, Master has already explained how modern art was created and the essence of its existence. We must therefore discard it. Even though traditional art was also not 100% pure, it was, after all, art created during the period of time when the deviation of humankind wasn't so severe. Its demonic nature was far less prominent, and it is valuable as a reference and an example. For instance, many Greek sculptures possess such vitality and rich visual presentation that they actually make people see and appreciate their beauty. The ceiling paintings in many European churches can really make one experience the wonders of the heavenly world. The traditional, realistic oil paintings and sculptures in the Louvre Museum of Paris, and the famous ancient paintings in the Forbidden City Museum in China are so captivating that people who visit those museums often don't want to leave. They are drawn to return again and again. In contrast, when a child whose Celestial Eye is open goes into a gallery of modern art, he gets scared and bursts out crying. One artist said it really well when he made the comment that, in the past, art was used to glorify gods but during the Renaissance period people began to ignore gods and glorify humans. A great deal of today's modern art not only blasphemes gods, but also distorts and degrades the images of human beings. Instead, it glorifies animals or even demons, or it makes up some strange concepts and tries to express these concepts through the artwork. Some so-called great masters of the modern art school actually behave like reincarnations of demons. They have damaged human culture and created a hellish culture in its place. Dafa disciples should thoroughly remove the influence of such degenerate art, apply wisdom bestowed by Dafa, and create completely new artistic works, free of any demonic nature, for the new humankind on the basis of the good traditions of the past.

From photographs of already existing artwork that have been sent in, it is clear that many submissions have been influenced by this type of deviant modern art. As it permeates society along with everything else, it might not appear to be deviant when compared with its surrounding environment. Some artists feel that the subjects of their work are very positive and very good, and their work is very deep and very powerful when modern artistic styles are used. However, we need to think carefully about this. Before the human mind of the past became warped, people weren't able to create these types of works, and they didn't need to, either. In the future, human beings will be even more compassionate than before, their minds will be even purer and less complicated, and they will need to use such techniques even less. They are products peculiar to the degenerate human society, and will not be allowed to enter the new cosmos. No matter how today's audience applauds this type of work, we Dafa disciples all know that, in order to determine what is good and what is bad, we need to use Dafa to judge it. This is particularly true for those artists who have devoted their whole lives to modern art, have formed one set or even several sets of modern concepts, have "achieved" certain things, enjoy a certain amount of influence in society and have an established circle of supporters who enjoy their art. To them, this type of distorted modern artwork has become a major part of their lives and the reason for their existence. To change their artistic notions is truly more difficult than letting go of life and death. The only method to rise above it is to study the Fa more.

Master stated in "Buddha-Nature" in Zhuan Falun Volume II, "Once a notion is formed, it can govern a person's life, dominate his mind and even his happiness, anger, grief and joy. It is something acquired. With the passage of time, it will dissolve in one's mind, in the real brain of one's own, and form one's disposition."

Master stated in "For Whom do You Exist" in Essentials for Further Advancement, "The most difficult things for people to abandon are their notions. Some people cannot change, even if they have to give up their lives for fake principles. Yet notions are themselves acquired postnatally. People always believe that these unshakable ideas—ideas that can make them pay any price without a second thought—are their own thoughts. Even when they see the truth they reject it. In fact, other than a person's innate purity and innocence, all notions are acquired postnatally and are not a person's actual self." "If these acquired notions become too strong, their role will reverse by dictating a person's true thinking and behavior. At this point, that person might still think that they are his own ideas. This is the case for almost all contemporary people."

If one fails to find one's true self, as Master says in the same article, "…then he is dictated by acquired notions or external thoughts. He might even devote his entire life to struggling for them; but when he gets old, he will not even know what he has been doing in this lifetime. Though he has achieved nothing in his lifetime, he has committed innumerable mistakes while being driven by these acquired notions. Therefore, in his next life he will have to pay for the karma according to his own wrong deeds."

The artists of modern schools of art tend to emphasize their own self expression and "modern consciousness." On top of being wrapped up by layers on layer of notions, they continuously develop even more even notions. As a result, not only can they not find their own selves, they are also continuously creating large amounts of karma through practicing modern art.

Master says in "Buddha Nature" from Zhuan Falun Volume II, "If one does not form any notion, when viewing a problem, he would have an understanding out of his good nature, the real understanding of his own and deal with the problem with kindness. The more you yourself show your true self the loftier your thought is, the nearer you'll be to the truth, and the more you'll find yourself in the realm of your primordial good nature. The man's original nature has been formed when the human body is composed of the particles in an extremely, extremely micro state, so it is unchangeable. When one breaks his frame of thought, he will easily feel and perceive his good temperament, disposition, fundamental nature and character that have formed his real self."

Master has not only clearly pointed out the path for disciples to return to their original, true selves, he has also clearly shown artists the creative principles behind rising above the confusion caused by their own distorted notions and returning to a culture that is pure and truly human. Let us take the Fa as the teacher and create excellent works of art that truly display the wisdom of Dafa disciples.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/6/5/21920.html

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