Art of 4 Elements: Discover Alchemy through Poetry
Art of 4 Elements is a Spiritual Poetry and Art Book published in 2012.
The poetry, written by Nuit, acted as an inspiration for the work of other artists. The poetry represents the element of Earth, that is the Mother of all we know and experience, that within its womb carries Spirit going forth into the magic of manifestation. Jason's paintings represent the element of Air, that has no shape and is incapable of a fixed form. It is a symbol of thoughts. Christine's element is Fire that is boundless and invisible, and is a parching heat that consumes all. Within its highest manifestation Fire becomes Divine Love. Jeni's element is Water that carries within: a Rhythm of Creation, and a strength of Tantric flow. Water symbolizes the world of emotions.
Interview with Jason Lu by Lily Agius
EXPERIENCE WITH ART
“Back in Taiwan, I never did much art – I never had the chance to, except doodling. However, I moved to America when I was 15 and that is when I started learning a little bit here and there. When I was about 16, I was introduced to watercolour and the colour pencil, among other mediums, at school, but High School offered art programmes, teaching two and three-dimensional art including bronze casting, pottery, enamelling and oil painting. These are basic things that I still use to today. Painting, however, is a skill that I studied in Florence. I started painting from scratch in Florence, going back to basics in drawing, from academic drawing at the most basic level right up to oil painting, at the same time as doing academic sculpture. I then jumped back to The States and did my major in computer arts, which was mostly web design, graphic design and computer animation. I have not touched any of these programmes in about 12 years or so now. Computer arts are, of course, a real art, but it depends on your own personality and I prefer to get my hands dirty.
“Art is an extension of me, and that’s part of why I became an artist. When I was in The States I couldn’t really speak English and actually, somehow, I communicated through drawing for the first two years, so I really discovered the power of art as communication. Since I couldn’t do much else, I focused on art, and it helped me grow very quickly with different mediums.”
STYLE, SUBJECT MATTER AND MEDIUMS
“Maybe, since I was first trained in The States, I don’t really attach myself to any medium. Perhaps if you study in Italy you specialise in one field, but in The States they teach you to be more open and to do more experimental things. This could be why I have ideas that are sparked by different mediums and why I change styles so often – styles can be very dangerous. For me, style is a comfort zone. I feel that if you stick to one style, you fail to grow. What is fun about true art is that you are not responsible to anyone. It is more about yourself and the artwork, and I think your art grows with you like an extension of your mentality.
“For me, what is more important is expressing what is inside, and making sure that it is expressed properly. It can be expressed through a computer, a painting, a sculpture, a performance or installation art... It is not about the final product but the message and the process. If I want to survive as a professional artist, sometimes I do need to have something to say in the end, but in terms of creativity, a lot of things actually disintegrate in time anyway and you should be free to express yourself.”
MALTA AND LIFE
“Over the last eight years, Malta has really helped me realise who I am. The pace here is slow, and it has allowed me to isolate myself with my work, and to think about what I do in my life that has, in turn, helped me grow... The climate and energy in Malta is quite special and has also helped me get through very difficult periods of my psychological layers... Every moment is changing me, but at this moment I feel pretty balanced, grateful and happy, and I love my life and appreciate everything that is coming to me. The most important thing in my life is to search – what is my responsibility as a human being at this period of time while I live on earth? And through this searching period, art is the medium through which I express myself as a person – a reflection of my personal growth.”
WHO IS JASON LU?
“A husband – eventually I could be a father – I am a son, a friend... I am a regular human-being like everyone else. We all try to do our best. We need to be true to ourselves inside – if you are not true to yourself then you will not be happy and won’t be able to love the things you do or those around you. Love ourselves, love others and do the things that we love.”
Jason Lu is one of four artists taking part in an exhibition in Malta based on what is felt through Art of 4 Elements poetry by Natasa Pantovic Nuit.
Jason has illustrated his feelings in small canvasses inspired by 40 poems, but he tells me that he doesn’t remember any of the poems, instead he feels them, having used the right side of his brain – the creative side.
He continued to explain that his work is somewhat primitive and childlike, but this is how he wanted it to be – capable of reaching out to anyone of any age, from a three-year-old who can pick up the colours, to an adult who can perhaps read the hidden message behind it.
'Poetry is an emotion, and you can see how powerfully it inspired me'
We became one body, one aura
We stayed within the spectrum
that melted borders and thoughts
that opened horizons
unknown to the human mind
and we were not alone
all the sentient beings joined us
in this cosmic dance
We were all One
immersed within the Tantric Light
Interview with Christine Cutajar: Artist of Art of 4 Elements
Article by LJILJANA SAMARDŽIĆ
Although coming from absolutely different backgrounds, destiny decided to cross their roads due to unique artistic creation. Concentrated over the poems of Nataša Pantović, three artists let themselves go in search for mysteries of life and their meanings
Artof4elements and why 4 elements
A very unusual exhibition had been opened in Malta on April 27th. Visitors could see the art crafts which were made as inspiration of four elements - fire, water, air and earth. Those are the same basic elements which Empedocles considered as four basic beings of nature. The Earth has been presented through poems of Nataša Pantović (Serbia), Fire, which Heraclites thought of as the most unstable element, belonged to Christine Cutajar(Malta), photographer. Jason Lu's (China) paintings described his view and presentation of Air and Jeni Caruana (UK) painted Water, which she considers an almost uncontrollable element.
Things which also make this exhibition original are book "The art of four elements" which contains 120 art works and 120 poems and website. Each artist took 40 different poems and turned them into pieces of art. As it is written on their website, life is just an experiment in which "most of us strive to hit the jackpot, to find the recipe for love, happiness, fulfillment, to get to the finish line healthy, without suffering, sane, inspired and laughing. The Art of Four Elements is a story of such an endeavor, of an attempt, a dream, to discover a sacred stone that transforms metals into gold, helping our souls live their highest potential."
Exploring her own soul and paths, Christine Cutajar went from psychology to the artistic world and instantly experienced success and her very first confirmation and positive critics.
What made you change your mind regarding your profession and become photographer and artist?
- Studying psychology was interesting for my personal development and growth. However, I always felt an ambiguity as to how to apply this knowledge to a particular profession. Having worked on myself to always follow my heart and intuition in my life, I trusted that this again will be my guide to give me clarity in my profession. And it was indeed my trust in the divine and accepting my true self which led me to feel free and confident in expressing myself through art, more specifically abstract-nature photography.
This is your first exhibition and a kind of confirmation as artist. Which thoughts and what feelings are characteristics of your preparation for this event and the opening itself?
- Yes, this is my first exhibition. I felt very excited about the whole event and about exhibiting my work with established artists. I also experienced some anxiety, but I guess that is just a part of this preparation.
Why did you choose to base your exhibition on the four elements?
'Transforming the visible into words, and words into images, The Art of Four Elements artists gathered together with a common dream to explore the manifestation of: Earth that is fixed, rigid, static and quiet, and symbolizes the world of senses; Water that is the primordial Chaos, is fluidity and flexibility, and symbolizes the world of emotions; Air that has no shape and is incapable of any fixed form. It is a symbol of thoughts; Fire that is boundless and invisible, and is a parching heat that consumes all, or within its highest manifestation, becomes the expression of Divine Love, and Spirit that stands at the center of the four elements as an Essence, an Observer, Consciousness coming forth to experience the magic of Life.' Natasa Pantovic Nuit
When you were making photographs, did you use something else beside poems as inspiration?
- It was a very interesting experience as during the creative process my inspirations from nature, photography and the poetry all came together and led me to create the image from this combination.
How do you expect that your art will affect on people? What do you wish to evoke in them?
- From the comments which I have had from the exhibition, most people were intrigued with the most abstract of photos. For me, the visitors' various reactions to my work were interesting as it reminds me of the mysteries in life and our reactions to them. It also reminds me of how different each person's perceptions are to the same thing, as we all come from different backgrounds... and it makes me wonder how important it is to question our own beliefs and perceptions of the realities we form.
Since the exhibition is about to end, can you share your experience and tell us what do you gain from it?
- During the opening I found myself fascinated with the different interpretations of the subjects in my photos. Having received very positive feedback on my work from various sources, I would say that I gained more support and encouragement to make more of my work public.
What are your plans for future? Will there be more exhibitions soon and will this one be available in other countries as well?
- I am currently working on other projects, connected mostly to abstract-nature photography, which will be released during the coming months, where you can find more information in the near future on my website: http://www.nurisha.net/ . This exhibition is only available in Malta, however the book will be available worldwide in the near future.
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