Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Life Is Short and Art is Long

Relax, travel, healing... to modern society these are sweet magic words. Those who are running ahead aimlessly and are tired in both body and mind, understand. 

Korea has for some time been interested in economic progress and has achieved remarkable results from the efforts. We can be proud of the results but in the process, became infected with a materialist mentality: money can do everything. A member of the Catholic Artist's Committee gives us her impression in a Diocesan bulletin on the direction we are going.

She mentions that for Korea to become truly an advanced country in this transitional period it's  important to work to advance our cultural assets besides pursuing economic progress. Because of the Japanese occupation and division of the country, Korea has not developed fully its spiritual and cultural resources.

For a long period of time seeing the advances of western culture, Korea was overcome with a great feeling of inferiority and a yearning to imitate, we did this without reservation. Imitation is the start to every beginning. However, it's time for Korea to begin as a developed country in the 21st century to recover our proper Korean culture and aesthetic history. This is the work of the artistic community but the government and public organization need to give us the wings to go ahead with the search.

France, known as a cultural giant has a department of culture, she would like Korea to go in that direction. As we transition as a developing country she is sure the department would do much in achieving cultural growth.

Art is the product of a precious spiritual culture that acts as a mirror of the times, through deep self-reflection and insight into society. Art is not rigid and heavy but the way of discovering what beauty is, and for those in modern society searching for meaning in  higher values and quality of life. It's a thrilling medium that brings joy to people.

"Art is long, life is short" reminds us of the great power of art to give vitality to life. It's time to abandon the dichotomous thinking of black and white, left and right, good and bad, high and low,  and to search for a middle course. In the East, the middle road is normal.

While in college she wondered if the way of art was a proper goal. Did God see this as a beautiful goal?  Was it just a personal selfish desire? She wondered about this for some time but since it was a strong desire she felt it came from God. She is now certain of this and screams out: the beauty of art witnesses to God's love, a beautiful tool which introduces us to the fragrance of God's love.

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