Monday, February 3, 2020


INTRODUCTION:

Some essays are more revealing than others.  Here is a selection of essays that accompanied seven art exhibitions of contemporary art at AAAC.



The creative act is a self affirming act, an act of self naming, creating forms that become synonymous with our history, our traditions, and our outlook. This is how art serves Asia America. – A Covenant With Difference 1993



Now that diverse peoples have embarked on the path of empowerment, it is appropriate to ask, is that enough, will it restore our sense of humanity?

- “Betrayal/Empowerment at Columbia University’s Teachers College, 1994



Does the flap of a butterfly wing in Tokyo affect a thunder storm in New York? This kind of thinking has been termed the non-linear character of the world, developing new theories of Chaos.  1998



The practice of meditation has brought about a mindfulness of a larger silence and a consideration of the great diversity of beliefs this republic has yet to encompass.

- The Reintegration of Tradition into Contemporary Art 1999 (Pagels studies, G is?)



In the body of his art Yoshiki Araki’s evolution can be seen the profound impact of Hiroshima on his psyche, where it led him to produce the kind of haunting imagery that remains his legacy.  - Yoshiki Araki: Hiroshima Born 2006



A story that has haunted me for years, is the link between Asia and the West. After so many years, fragments remain hopelessly scattered over vast stretches of history, a tale that has been ignored and denied in the West for so long. 

-  Alternatives to the Story of Christopher Columbus Today 1992

Towards an American Covenant With Difference

Tsuchiya Toyo, Untitled, 2003 

For Asian Pacific Americans as well as other ethnic communities, the Arts play a crucial role in developing an identity, in reconfiguring values appropriate to the American context.  The Arts transform the way in which we understand and identify ourselves and the way others see and understand us.  



Asian Pacific communities continue to live an existence largely marginal to the mainstream.  Modes of behavior, sentiments and feelings not to mention language, are still regarded as outside of the mainstream.  Portrayed as alien, and thus not a legitimate part of the "polis", the civic order, such enclaves are often described as exotic and part of another world.  Most individuals are left to make independent compromises to integrate and reconcile different and contradictory aspects of their lives.   American civic norms have made half hearted allowances for cultural differences.     



The creative act is an act of self naming.  It de-legitimates stereotypes, false names, and is a self affirming act.  To  become aware of the excitement inherent in the creative act is to recognize the act of faith that it embodies in identifying and affirming values.  Asian Pacific Americans must recognize this asset and lay claim to those artists who take on the challenge to create Art which address these issues.  Asian Pacific Americans can identify those tangible shapes and forms that become synonymous with Asian Pacifics, our history, our traditions, and our outlook.



  

The Arts of Asian Pacifics and other diverse communities are a rejuvenating presence, a new and vital part of the mainstream.  We represent another generation's interpretation of this nation's principles.  The culture of Asian Pacifics and other diverse cultures contribute to the mainstream cultural landscape by support for the integration of the Arts into the sustaining issues and concerns of our economy and our society.  Asian Pacific Americans take part in shaping America's culturally diverse future.



In this issue, national policy issues projected to the year 2020 are discussed.  In the area of Arts policy, in preparation for this year 2020, when culturally diverse populations will approach a majority of the population, a national program should be implemented to promote a cultural/artistic dialogue, such that the gaps in understanding and communication between diverse peoples and traditions that has existed for so long are overcome. Such a program would prioritize diverse organizations and artists.  It would be based upon major initiatives to reverse the racial precepts and exclusionary policies of preceding decades. It would recognize an American covenant with difference is an important precondition for participation in an interdependent world.  With such a policy in place, a national dialogue through the arts can ensue, which will be instrumental in preparing our country for the America of 2020.

ArtSpiral 93’  Editorial by Robert Lee  


May 1993 Intro to the exhibition  

WE COUNT ! THE STATE OF ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICA

http://artasiamerica.org/documents/1105/71



 In May 1993, in commemoration of Asian American Heritage Month, Asian American Arts Centre and the Mayor’s Office for Asian Affairs in New York City mounted an exhibition entitled, “We Count! The State of Asian Pacific America.”  It was held on May 10 to May 31, 1993 at the Tweed Gallery adjacent to the City Hall.



This exhibition of contemporary art works were selected to correspond to a survey of major issues of the Asian Pacific American population in the United States with particular emphasis on New York City.  The issues, based on the book, The State of Asian Pacific America:  Policy Issues to the Year 2020, recently published by LEAP Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute, will have major repercussions on Asian Pacific Americans and on the development of the nation as a whole, particularly in the area of race relations. The topics include Population Growth, Education and Higher Education, Health and Mental Health, Arts, Cultural Preservation, Immigration, Labor, Civil Rights, South Asian Refugees, Politics, Race Relations, Affirmative Action, Language Rights, Women, and Media.

This exhibition was the first of Asian Pacific American artists mounted by the City of New York. The exhibition featured artists of diverse Asian background—Bangladesh, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Pacific Islander, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Hapa (mixed ancestry), as well as two artists of Brazilian and Caucasian background whose work and participation represent a message of welcome to all supporters of Asian Pacific America.



Each artist’s work represented the presence, character and concerns of a respective Asian nationality.  The issues discussed were linked to the issues of cultural sensibility and change demonstrated by each artist’s work.  The exhibition suggested a cultural framework to integrate the complex issues and dimensions of an Asian presence in American society.  In this way, the Arts became a vehicle for the dialogue on public policy addressing the general public as well as elected officials and community leaders in the Asian Pacific American community. 

The exhibition was curated by Robert Lee, Executive Director of the Arts Centre.  Lorinda Chen, former Asian American Outreach Specialist for the US Census Bureau and currently with the Health and Hospitals Corp., summarized the main issues and wrote those materials giving special attention to New York City


BETRAYAL/Empowerment I 

April  1994






Asian American Arts Centre and Columbia University’s Teachers College, Office of Continuing Professional Education, presents “Betrayal/Empowerment I” from April 18 to May 4, 1994.   This exhibition seeks to raise issues on the current phase of the struggle for empowerment by reflecting on the works of selected Asian American artists.  It includes artists who began their careers in the 1950's, the 1960's, the 1970's, and the 1980's.   These artists are of diverse Asian background: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Pacific Islander.  The artists are:  Arun Bose, Joseph Goto, Sang Nam Lee, Quynh Nguyen, Lily Yeh, Junko Yoda, Toshihisa Yoda, Charles Yuen, and Sui Kang Zhao.  Together they represent the diversity and sensibility of Asian American artists from the 1950's through the 1980's.



It has been said that one of the stories of Asians in America is a story of betrayal.  Carlos Bulosan, a renowned Filipino novelist wrote as early as 1938 of the condition of the pinoy (Filipino) as one of betrayal.   Richard Wright, the African American novelist wrote of psychological siege as a  normal state for persons of color.   The Mind’s I, Parts I - IV exhibition at the Arts Centre in 1987 concluded on this note.  The demand for empowerment responds to this condition.  Now that diverse peoples have embarked on the path of empowerment, it is appropriate to ask, what will restore our humanity beyond empowerment?  If we have access to the race for power and, perhaps, to win it, is this clearly our aim or is the race for power itself limited, even flawed?   In seeking a humanity beyond empowerment, artists from each generation can recall for us cultural memories that, as Amalia Mesa Bains has said,  "....allows us to assert our sense of continuity against all odds". 


Yuen Charles, Device for the Collection of Tears1990


Arun Bose began his career in Calcutta, India in the late 50’s, studying in Paris with Stanley Hayter in 1962, before coming to New York to establish a prominent printmaking facility at Lehman College.  Joseph Goto came from Hawaii to study sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.   In 1951 Alfred Barr of MOMA acquired one of his sculptures.  Joseph won a Graham Fd. Award in 1957 and received numerous grants throughout his career.  In the 1970’s Sang Nam Lee was a professional artist in Korea before coming to New York in the early 80’s  where he has pursued an art with explicit spiritual intentions and strategies.  Quynh Nguyen from Vietnam, former professor of art at Columbia University has written and lectured on art and philosophy in both English and Vietnamese.  Quynh began his career in the early 1970’s, exhibiting in Vietnam and Germany before coming to New York in the 80’s.  Lily Yeh from Taiwan learned Chinese brush painting at an early age before studying contemporary painting in Philadelphia in 1960’s.  She has since established a community organization that has helped to renew an entire neighborhood in the African American community of North Philadelphia.  Toshihisa Yoda came to New York  in the mid 1960’s to develop his minimalist  mode of painting.  Junko Yoda exhibited in Tokyo before coming to New York where she developed her special form of paper knotted collage. Charles Yuen from Hawaii came to study art at Rutgers in the 1980’s and has developed a mode of painting related to Middle Eastern miniatures.  Sui Kang Zhao studied and exhibited in Shanghai in the early to mid 80’s before  coming to San Francisco and New York to get his MFA.    In the last few years he has developed his sculptural wall units to interface with technological and linguistic counterparts.



This exhibition is curated by Robert Lee, Executive Director of Asian American Arts Centre, a community based arts organization celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, whose programs include contemporary art, performance/media, Chinese folk arts, arts in education and cultural research.  It is based, in part, on an ongoing research project begun in 1986 entitled, “Asian American Artists and their Milieu: 1945-1965”, that is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.   It is held in conjunction with an exhibition at the Asian American Arts Centre on 26 Bowery entitled, “Betrayal/Empowerment II” encompassing artists who began their careers primarily in the 1990’s.   It is being held from March 18 to April 30, 1994.


Notes:

Do you know what a Filipino feels in America?  I mean one who is aware of the intricate forces of chaos?  He is the loneliest thing on earth.  There is much to be appreciated all about him, beauty, wealth, power, grandeur.  But is he a part of these luxuries?  He looks, poor man, through the fingers of his eyes.  He is enchained, damnably to his race, his heritage.  He is betrayed, my friend.

Carlos Bulosan, May 2, 1938  from Selected Letters



Robert Lee

The Day and Night Transparent    the 8th Day and Night - an artists talk 1998





Does the flap of a butterfly wing in Tokyo affect a tornado in Texas, or a thunder storm in New York?  Edward Lorenz, meteorologist, said yes.  This kind of thinking has been termed the non-linear character of the world, and it has begun to account for such phenomena with new theories of Chaos.  This is where very small fluctuations in a system can expand in effect and change profoundly the entire structure of a system.  



I am not an expert on Chaos theory but I know this is what we have always sought to do in placing our attention and focus on Asian American Art at a time when the idea that art could actually be 'Asian American' did not exist.  In earlier times (1966-72) they were called 'Forerunners' and 'Artists in Exile'.  In starting to focus on them as 'Asian American' a whole new set of questions were raised.  For example, "If your Asian American, then are you not American?" or If your Asian American, what does that mean about me, who am I?" 




        Eung Ho Park, Sperm Spoons, 1995

Today we see major magazines and exhibitions on the new Asian art inclusive of Asian American artists.  Articles saying Asian American art is about 'tension', or new culture study books that multiculturalism has become a trick of the mainstream to avoid the contradictions and ambiguities inherent in the term.  Luckily, artists do not read or take these remarks to heart and continue to spin their art out of their own meditations.  The audience, however, can be left in a tither, bewildered as to what to think, which expert to believe or which book is the most up to date.  We suggest, that if you try hard, you can see and enjoy the art work, letting your questions spin in their most inimical way, and be more like the artists themselves, leaving experts to their own arguments. 



Of course there are real questions that Asian American art raises that need to be resolved, and 
some of these questions will be touched on here   
tonight.  Have no fear, that with more evenings like tonite, we will come to understand these questions, given a gradual growth of perspective.  And the commodification of knowledge need not interfere with our joy of art. 



Welcome to the flap of a few butterflies in New York.



Robert Lee

7lb. 9oz. :  The Reintegration of Tradition into Contemporary Art

An Art Exhibition held on March 26, 1999     
http://artasiamerica.org/documents/5161/177


This exhibition is of four artists, Yeong Gill Kim, Chee Wang Ng, Osami Tanaka, all of New York, and Hisako Hibi of San Francisco. These artists are for the most part young artists representing three different approaches, with Hibi representing artists of an earlier generation who took a similar direction.  The subtitle of this exhibition is taken from a 1997 exhibition at the Arts Centre in which four Americans were included.  What all these artists have in common is Asia as their point of departure.  Of these, Kim, Ng, Tanaka and Hibi have resolved what for some diverse artists in the US is the conundrum of identity, by a renewed confidence in the vitality of their Asian traditions.  The unbridgeable gap born of two seemingly irreconcilable cultures is spanned by centering in the roots of one's historical origins.



Chee Wang Ng is an award winning designer and artist.  His large computer generated photographs, drawn from the wood block prints of traditional Chinese folk conventions, reassert their forms and purposes.   Technology here, does more than update a traditional recognizable message.   Ng uses the 'exactly repeatable visual image', as a Western artifact, to eclipse the notion of rationality.  He does this by pointing, unabashedly, to an Asian civilization's perennial observations.  Shorn of folk art's naiveté, Ng uses 'rebus', a way of expressing words with objects whose names resemble those words, to invoke an entire Asian outlook - Nature, mysticism (as an un-mediated grasp of the universe), the I Ching classic, folk religion, family events & family ties.  Proverbial motifs are made spiffy, with a social savvy that aims to achieve rapport across racial lines. In his hands ethnicity and difference become an asset.  Feature articles on his graphic designs have appeared in books and magazines such as Progressive Architecture. A graduate of Rhode Island of Design in Architecture, he is trilingual, born and raised in the multiracial milieu of Malaysia.



Yeong Gill Kim saw the transition in Korea from a feudal society to a modern country and the confusion it brought to the people.  By 1995 he had given up purely contemporary idioms and returned to materials and ideas that had inspired so much of Asia's painterly traditions.  The complexity of his brush work on muslin has attained a clarity and simplicity.  He has found a freedom there, a capacity for an openness that could encompass the ambiguity of the multiple dimensions of our current cultural context.  By growing what Asia has and seeing how its ideas can apply in this context, he has come to terms with contemporary times.  For Kim the past cannot be forgotten.  It cannot be dwarfed.  He brings a trust and faith to his work and asks us to do likewise.  He knows mind intuits itself in silent empty space.  In taking a positive affirming stance, free from generic definitive claims, he has enlarged an Asian artistic tradition and made it spacious.

      



Hisako Hibi was born in Kyoto in 1907, and died in San Francisco in 1991.  She came to the United States at the age of thirteen, and studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute.  She married Matsusaburo George Hibi, who was also an artist, was interned with their children in the Topaz Internment Camp during World War II, and when her husband died soon there after, she raised her children herself.  She moved her family from New York to San Francisco where she lived until her passing.  She developed a way of painting based on landscape that was diffuse in space.  Like Xu Bing's Book from the Sky, she eliminated the underlying structure of her landscapes and was left only with air.  She believed strongly in her art, and her compassion brought her to reflect that everything begins by changing yourself first rather than the world.  Hibi has been included in this exhibition to exemplify the works of earlier generations of artists, e.g. Wucius Wong, now in Hong Kong and Zao Wu Ki in France, who can also be mentioned as taking this path.      



Osami Tanaka came to New York in 1981 after receiving a traditional Japanese carving education where he even learned to make his own chisels and wood carving tools.  He attended the New York Studio School and received many exhibitions in New York, Maryland and Boston.  Reviews of his work emphasize his minimalism and his interest in the voice of the materials. However, his interest is not in minimalism nor even in form per se.  His use of railroad ties lie or stand next to their duplicate in solid wax.  Form does have its 'thereness', but it is its weight that counts.  One of them he made to equal his exact weight.  Another was the weight of his son at birth.  Others, the weight of his friend's children.  The mundane character of this simple nearly invisible adjustment bespeaks a virtue that in its own way, is not devoid of heroism. In avoiding all traces of reification, even explicit traces of "art", he has found a way to be Japanese within the United States.   


Yeong Gill Kim, YG 0805 acrylic paint canvas

Ng, Kim, Hibi and Tanaka assert the Asian presence of difference.  Difference can be embraced, like the sun that simply rises and radiates, ideally giving all life energy.  Ethnicity is neither conservative, closed, nor traditional, it is dynamically changing in the contemporary world and capable of creating new forms.  These artists do not give themselves up to mass perceptions.  They keep their distinctiveness.



The motives for contemporary art now come from other traditions, other contexts, and their needs, what propels them are different from Western domestic fervors.  These artists demonstrate that contemporary art in America need not be founded on the historical experience of the West, nor on claims of the predominance of global technology and democratic material opportunity.  Their art poses an enhanced logic, informed by an affirming temper.   As such they suggest diverse people, including Asian Americans, put aside superficial American mannerisms, put aside the loyal Left's limited sensibility of resistance and assume the responsibility of a re-envisioned, diverse center.



Rather than the ironies of appearance and identity, Ng, Kim, Hibi and Tanaka have chosen to express the stability and coherence attainable by choosing an inner way of seeing oneself.  Tanaka points to it tangibly in substance.  Ng finds it in the folk practices derived from folk religion.  Such knowledge comes from intuition, for Kim and Hibi, from silent empty space.  This is a notion that is at the heart of every religion, at its primordial mystical core.  The role of silence or, it could be termed, the work of silence in the public arena, is part of a re-envisioned center. 



In early 1996, before he left the Senate, Bill Bradley suggested that the ethics of three sectors of American life were different and should not be confused.  The frenetic competitive marketplace and the fair deliberative processes of democracy should not forget their dependence on the civic sector where a belief in cooperation and giving freely without expectation of return is fundamental to society.  A forth sector, of some value for diverse people to recognize, is the process of silence.  Silence is not the best term to use, particularly for some diverse groups, however, it points to what cultures share in their spirituality without raising their separate characteristics.  The three sectors that describe American life may have omitted their dependence on the forth.  Their roles in the public arena cannot do their work without a mindfulness of the larger silence, and the great diversity of beliefs this republic has yet to encompass.   The three sectors of society has just begun to debate the eclipse of the Enlightenment and the need to move away from the belief in the myth of rational progress.  Did not Joseph Campbell say we needed a new myth?  Incremental steps towards this in America is not without its ethnic dimension.  This is where a re-envisioned center begins.



The study of Asian American art begins with the recognition of diverse people, clarifying the cultural, ethical, and political issues at work.  Here, the relationship between the public sphere's civic responsibilities and the private/personal sphere points to the significance of these artists' works in the development of diversity in America.  Ng, Kim, Hibi and Tanaka have chosen this direction recently as young artists.  Hibi took this direction in the post war years.  This is their choice, it has not been inherited without question, and that has made all the difference.  It is OK to be Asian in America.  Said simply, this is the path they have taken.  It is not the choice every Asian American artist will make, nor do I suggest it should be.  However, it bears the blessings of the Asian past, and there are some artists who want that.

      

Artists make this path accessible.  It is within the power of artists to do this.  The West has created so many objects to establish the assumption of their material world,  Asian Americans need their artists' creations, concepts, and processes to establish a non-material dimension.  Ng, Kim, Hibi and Tanaka's works are not consumables, still through their circulation in society they will further the economy as art, as practical evocation objects.  Asian art in America seeks to generate a new audience, a fashion for rice and rebus, a new appreciation for the emptiness of vast landscapes to meditate upon, and a sense for the weighty presence of formless form come to the fore.



Robert Lee

 

Yoshiki Araki: Hiroshima Born               

July 7 – August 11, 2006

Yoshiki Araki: Hiroshima Born

Yoshiki Araki was born in March of 1950 in Hiroshima.  Raised by his mom in Kuri, he did not see his dad much, who had served in the navy during the war, rising to the position of Rear Admiral in the Defense Department.  To nearby islands he could swim to pick watermelons or see rocks dressed as people. Theirs was similar to an old “Samurai” family.  When the bomb fell in Hiroshima his grandfather was there.  The next day his mother, then a young girl, went into what was left of the city to search through the devastation for him.  She never found him.



As a young man Yoshiki studied with a folk master of layered opaque watercolor illustration for a few years in a small fishing village in Hokkaido.  Wanting to come to the US of A he saved for a year by working a jackhammer in a mine.  He then spent it all in a month in fun.  Yoshiki did make it to New York in 1974 studying at the Art Students League, living on Amsterdam Ave, in Harlem and later on Presidents Street in Brooklyn. This is where he could lose himself in books, especially Japanese detective novels. He performed in the Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble in the late 80s/early 90s, traveling with them to perform in Hiroshima.  



His paintings became larger in the mid 80s, when he confronted his ties to Hiroshima, and then his surfaces began to be covered by black tar.   Cans, bones, cages and/or tree branches could be taped there with eggs or lemons or sheet metal.  Later paraffin wax became part of his work with an exacting form of photo collage.  Finely constructed small flat boxes filled with wax surrounded a central surface with a painted collage image.  Body parts in surreal configurations often populate this small stage painted dark, at times with a horizon in yellow. Large standing railroad ties became his sculpture, topped with wax and long protruding bones splayed.  In the late 90’s Araki prepared to produce hundreds of wax boxes, filling the basement below his large studio with materials he had crafted ready to go. 



Then in mid 2000 circumstances changed, forcing him from his home and studio.  In his search for a place to live and work, there was the possibility of having to leave NY after so years in the US. Under the pressure of landlord harassment, the stress and tension of trying to find a new space to accommodate so much that he had gathered and planned, these factors had an impact on his health. Late that year Araki became ill and had to be hospitalized. He died shortly thereafter.



Yoshiki Araki, Mother & Son, 1985

In the body of work that was saved by his wife and friends, Araki’s evolution as an artist can be seen.  The profound impact of Hiroshima on his psyche, how this resolved for him and where it led him to produce the kind of haunting imagery that remains his legacy to us.  Artists who have seen war, can go beyond the human form, violate it, no longer afraid, as he seemed to do, slicing open his own torso, gathering the grammar of his visual parts, cut clean, till bones emerge and a blossom gut.  A deep sea of translucent wax protects us, the salve of ritual confines the enigma. 



We have been taught to tolerate violence, to look past its pain, especially when its surgical and meant for positive outcomes.  The consequences of military action is ‘good’, the collateral damage to people is to be ‘tolerated’, at least until it can be put aside and forgotten.  Like a newspaper image.  So many realities are not faced because of this kind of skillful practice.  The bomb is one of these. 



Araki chose a different path.  His art and his life hold a logic contrary to so much of what is current and acceptable.  His work reveals our subliminal attraction to violence.  It connects us to past eras when the fantasy fodder that cushion us today was not possible,

was undreamt. Araki has made the undisclosed underbelly of society into an art transparent.  He exposes social convention to its own undoing. Araki came to this turn in his art, a mode of art making that took hold in the last ten years of his life.  He knew, like others, a Kafka-esque world lies just beneath the surface.  To face it is to live with what humanity is capable of, to re-consider our human limits, as he did.  Araki, however, was on his way to coming out the other side, despite the pain, restored, a human being.



From Hiroshima a reconciliation still awaits us, and may be possible, as Araki has shown, perhaps on terms unexpected. 

Robert Lee




AND HE WAS LOOKING FOR ASIA:  Alternatives to the Story of Christopher Columbus Today



An exhibition exploring the Migration Period, a neglected era in European history. September 1992


A story that has haunted me for years, is the link between Asia and the West. But it did not begin to come together for me until I learned about the art of the so called 'Migration Peoples'. After so many years, fragments remain hopelessly scattered over vast stretches of history and language. Without the artifacts to meticulously piece these together, how can I relate to you a story so fugitive? But I dare not delay further, to leave in the hands of professional historians, a tale that has been ignored and denied in the West for so long.


Briefly: The master narrative of Western history, of European history is missing a major component - the Migration Peoples who settled through much of Europe, has remained central to its story. Who were these diverse nomadic peoples….?


In the so called Dark Ages - what historian Michael Wood on PBS describes as the "barbarian becomes the Roman, forming the 'Barbarian West'". Goths, Visigoths, Merovingians, Avars, Huns, migration peoples of the 2ed to the 6th Century whose oral traditions and animism were suppressed by the literary traditions and religion of the Mediterranian. Venerable Bead in the 8th C. taught that the peoples of the Barbarian West were chosen Christian heirs of the Roman Empire destined to lead humanity to the City of God.


The art of polychrome fibula pins, the only remains today of the original traditions of the migration peoples. Picasso's bull is identical to migration peoples art. “Christopher Columbus wore a round fibula pin with studded semi precious stones worked with interlacery”, ...perhaps, yes say perhaps... 


In looking for Asia, the myths and perceptions of Asia were foremost: the Tree of Life motif, the fountain of youth, El Dorado, Hawaii’s paradise, Hitler's Valhalla, temple of racial purity. Midst all this how did East-West become polar opposites? if in deep history there was contact and interest in Asia then there are cultural ties we live with yet to be discovered, their implications yet to be unraveled.


             Jorge Tacla, Study on One Transformation  Oil on Jute 1991

“To fight the good fight is all that ennobles us, and gives us finally our triumph over this mortal coil.” How often have you heard Capt. Kirk or Shakespeare say this? Are not the ethics and traditions of battle in every moment of our Western lives, to push us beyond our limits. A key image of our nomadic heritage: the open road. As the first former President Bush once termed it, “We’re not done yet!”.


Vaclav Havel, Feb. 4, 1992 in the NYT: "The fall of Communism can be regarded as a sign that modern thought - based on the premise that the world is objectively knowable, and that the knowledge so obtained can be absolutely generalized - has come to a final crisis. We are looking for an objective way out of the crisis of objectivity.... Things must once more be given a chance to present themselves as they are, to be perceived in their individuality. We must see the pluralism of the world, and not bind it by seeking common denominators or reducing everything to a single common equation. Soul, individual spirituality, first-hand personal insight into things; the courage to be oneself and go the way one's conscience points, humility in the face of the mysterious Order of Being, confidence in its natural direction and, above all, trust in one's own subjectivity as the principal link with the subjectivity of the world - these are the qualities that ...the future should cultivate."


“I suddenly realized that the molecules in my body, and the molecules in the spacecraft and in my partners bodies were manufactured in … the furnaces of stars. Suddenly those were my molecules, not intellectually but viscerally.” (He points to his heart. Samadhi). The late Edgar Mitchell, astronaut.

Robert Lee



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