Art means different things to different people. But art has even more meanings across the world’s hemispheres. Today on the tour the choir was invited to the art museum of one of the art professors of Tianjin University. In this art exhibitions we came closer to understanding the ideas behind what separates western art from eastern art.
If there was a few million dollar words during this demonstration they would be “general revelation” and “divine revelation” I automatically assume that some things can be lost in translation, but what was describes to us in english was that western art is western art because of christian influences. Because of christianity being able to draw a specific focus to Christ and God as the creators of the universe and all things in it. This means that western art was influenced by “divine revelation.” Chinese art, on the other hand, has had no christian influence on the cultures’ art through out history. The translator said
“ Because we didn’t know God, we didn’t know who the Creator was. And because we didn’t know who the Creator was, we worshiped the “dao” of nature.” “Dao” is scribed as an idea in Chinese culture of having a pattern. Everything in Chinese culture has a Dao. The Dao can be described as the nature or essence of a subject. So the first Chinese artist are known to only express general revelation because they recognized the Dao of nature while they were unaware of divine revelation. Chinese artists saw the naturally occurring cycles and systems of nature as well as it’s aesthetic beauty. So the artists painted nature in short amounts of time, or for the amount of time that they experienced the general revelation.
The Professor/Artist from Tianjin is also a christian and explained that in his work he is aiming to incorporate more inspiration from divine revelation into the traditional Chinese style of his paintings. He demonstrated this in front of about 40+ people as he painted a portrait of Jesus calming the wind and the waves in. In 20 minutes he completed this work in the amount of time it took to speak and translate the explanation of the different types of philosophies behind the art. The finished piece the artist then graciously gifted to Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts Media and Culture. Keep a look-out for the theme of water and waves in Chamber Choir’s future concerts.