Key moments.. Taoism and the Tao of Art, a book by Ben Willis. Context


Photo, studio craft. Muted and highlighted colour/ negative masks.

In my dissertation im writing about Taoism, an ancient chinese philosophy. Words cover so much of my practise. I started making creative notes in class fifteen years ago, in an attempt to be mindful of the oppertunity to make something of the information being generated. I was studying music and art at the time; and i was listening to hip hop music, or rap. I didnt have a TV, and i spent much of my time drawing in the bedroom studio of a Hip hop crew called the Born Again Heads// 27 beats family. Much of my communication was through my art, and it was based on experience and expression, meditation. Taoism fitted in with my personal direction in life. I thought it would be a worthwhile task undertaking an essay on Taoism (and graffiti) and i descovered a book ‘The Tao of Art’. Ive extended my library loan several times and im thinking of buying it.

The Contents page reads

The Brush of Wu Chen

Art and the Principles of Taoism

The Rational and Intuitive Mind

Spirit and Character in Nature and Art

The Unification of Opposites

Creativity and its Art

The Meditative Way: Integrity, Unity and Harmony

The Artistic Way: The Realisation of Spirit

Spontaneity and Creative Intuition in Art and Life

Toward a Universal Philosophy

id like to spend some time reading this book, making a study and identifying  ideas for life and for art, mindfulness. I looked at Buddhist meditation in year one finding the spacial plane on which sequences of written information could convey abstract meaning, a conversion of pocket book work to larger scale painting.

Taoism has already been a focus and a source for my work. Can Taoism open the artist to conceptual thought and philosophical practise? What would a synthesis of ‘Taoist Art’ consist of?

summary, the key moment here is in the experience of bringing Taoism into my work. As part of the written formula of my dissertation, Taoism stands as a long time philosophical parallel to life. It has been the tape in my walkman, it has been the tag on the wall. Ive found a book that can teach me Taoist principles in art and artistry.


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