I came across this amazing sculptured scene contained within a small, simple box. As I swung open its flimsy doors, it unveiled to me an astoundingly fantastical realm hidden within its tiny confinements. Its thoughtfully choreographed scene bloomed with magical stories exploding with imagination and fantasy. It rightly took my breath away.
And so it seems that humanity is loosing appreciation and benefits of simple and pure nothingness, of silence and calm, which come with not being under pressure to talk, to respond, to converse, react, but instead to think and feel, digest and reflect. Why?
Spending time, living in and discovering a foreign country is exciting and enlightening to me. So, on this particular occasion returning to the “New World” proved to be more of a sobering experience than usual. As you read on, you will realize that it actually tested and contested my own tolerance and open mindedness.
This reflection is devoted to the spirit of imagination, innovation, ideation and invention: how these precious values are reflected through the architectural realizations of the country called the “New World”. In my humble perception, something has gotten lost in translation. Are we slipping, losing it?
How do we anticipate the future and what will be the role for artistic individuals in its shaping? What kind of creative canvases will the future offer us? How will technology, sciences and their fusion with arts impact our creative powers? How will imagination fit into this brave new world?
From our very origin humanity has been striving to unravel and unveil the grand design, the very scheme by which this vast Universe, and all within it, works, and the ingenuity by which it all begun, as well as where it is all evolving to. In this pursuit, as history has shown, we have wasted a lot of time seeing ourselves as unique, the center of it all, the ones around whom everything revolves.
I challenge students to expose themselves, not physically but spiritually. I call upon them to “take the condom off their head”, have an unsafe idea, for life is too short and precious for following in someone else’s steps, make your own path through an untapped space.
To many the “system” is the symbol of oppression, the foe to resist in almost any cause. To us, not understanding something is a challenge that motivates and inspires, it ignites our imagination, makes us restless until, if fortunate, we arrive at an answer, a climax, whether right or not.
These days, when technology plays such a significant role in all aspects of our lives, and in much of what we do, there is a strong relationship between “IT” and our imagination: when they are not in balance, technology itself can overshadow imagination and seemingly become the ultimate answer to all. But when they are, technology empowers us, acting as our “magic wand”.
To share ideals and bring about meaningful transformations one needs a voice. Coming from a country where artists were the heralds of freedom and the voices for change against an oppressive system shaped by single-minded and intolerant ideology and resulting government, I have found mine through the power of imagination.
For some time now I have been promising myself a return to organic art. In my case this means line drawing. I love how line fluctuates, swings, cuts, curls, twists, envelopes, stubs, caresses, how it becomes a natural extension of an artist, how its creator can funnel into it the inner thoughts, passions, desires, frustrations or dreams.
Political correctness, fear of being painted as insensitive, a chauvinist, a racist, or being too this or too that, or “I’ll sue you”, is killing our free spirit, our sincere openness, ability to dialogue or differ with others on a deeper emotional level.
There are many impressive aspects of and qualities I now associate with Japanese people, their ways of lives and their culture with. However, what sets them apart in minds of those who have had a limited exposure to, or those who have never been there, are Anime and Manga, and to a lesser extent a mysterious Geisha.
Now, having observed Japanese society, the way it was taught to control their emotional and physical demeanor, I am un-startled by their adamantly unshaken, orderly, ongoing trust in authorities. It leads to a polite, restrained, reverently subdued reaction to what ensued due the corporate negligence, and a secretive, cunning cover up that continues to define what is being done to them.
As I reflected in my previous blog, Japanese are true perfectionists, in all they do. Thus, when it comes to political correctness, over centuries, and elected isolation from the external world, they turned it into an art form, a nature, but at what cost? Bowing projects a wonderfully charming sense of politeness and respect, but it does not end on just one bow, it goes on, and on. It is very carefully and skillfully choreographed and, as such, not spontaneous.
"Are you insane?” "Have you lost your mind?" "Are you not afraid?" "Don't you realize this is the worse time to go there?" This is just a sampling of the polite examples of reactions and comments my plans for a trip to Japan had triggered. And yet, based on my own life’s journey, I understood early on that, sometimes the worse time could be the best, the most raw, sincere, revealing and insightful.