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Art as Therapy – Hallowed Self-Will – Temptation

What we’re worried about forgetting … tends to be quite particular. It isn’t just anything about a person or scene that’s at stake; we want to remember what really matters, and the people we call good artists are, in part, the ones who appear to have made the right choices about what to communicate and what to leave out. … We might say that good artwork pins down the core of significance, while its bad counterpart, although undeniably reminding us of something, lets an essence slip away. It is an empty souvenir. – De Botton and Amstrong


Art is a form of consciousness, a gateway to timeless relationship and expression of intimate meditation, connection and communication between people, self and life.

I started this new project (for which the most appropriate name could only be Hallowed Self-Will) being interested to explore more the moral conscience through spirituality. People have been always interested into the unseen face of what one could be, and the genuine struggle has always happened only in emotional crisis. The spirituality seen as a foundation of life, can signify the salvation from succumbing in a darkened experience.

At the base of the project lays the sacred art, a special artistic language, whose elements speak about sense, content, divine messages and surreal life. Spirituality becomes thus, an aspiring condition of human life in which time seems exceptionally empyreal, and in which space, meaning and dimensions become infinite.

Hallowed Self-Will is depicting idealization and is self-asserting spirituality and vulnerability in people, by observing experiences of  consciousness. The project is coherently merging the still life captures with portraiture, in tableau style photographs, that will enhance the imposition of the spiritual touch.

This has been my very first self-directed assignment at SCAD and it’s currently ongoing. The project will be divided sequentially, Temptation, the first sequence starts off with an intimate portrait and still life scene. The color scheme reminds of the ultramarine color or grisaille technique used by painters of the Dutch Golden Age or Renaissance. Equally, blue and red tones depict the liturgical season colors in which blue signifies the hope and red, the Holy Spirit. This sequence reflects the extent of the desire and challenges the human condition to understand doubt. The subject matter is the temptation itself, creating along side with the symbols around an authentic and honest capacity of willing to attain a certain state of spirit. The symbols highlight the immortality, Church’s power or remind about salvation, in contrast with the real goal, that of tempting through beauty and disguise. To be continued…

Model – Haishi Cheng

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