3 Sacks Adrienne
One day this week, my friends and I were outside, standing close together, smoking cigarettes in the snow.
The tree branches are interwoven
The only tree to live in winter
You are my friends
As an architecture and art student, I hold a deep love for the physical world. I watch my peers study and work to make the world run more efficiently as a stronger, faster machine. I on the other hand, simply want to make the world more beautiful. However, this class, especially this week, has challenged that view and made me think about what I really mean by “beautiful.” Prior to taking this class, never had I questioned things like, “Does my work complement the natural world and intensify the beauty or only distract from it?” “Canvases will tear, wood will rot, plastic will dry, and paint will fade. Why bother?” This week, after reading Thomas Merton’s Zen and the Birds of Appetite, I found myself thinking about these questions on yet another level. Japanese art is, as Merton describes “contemplative intuition of fundamental truth” (Merton 89). I believe most artists would agree with this thoughtful description in regards to their own art. Perhaps the Japanese look at art holistically. Although it is certainly impermanent due to material, this does not make it less important or valuable. In fact, it might just make it more important. Art is a physical reflection of many evanescent factors, such as observation of the world. In addition, while reading Evanescence and Form, I found myself reflecting this time on architecture and interior design. Inouye describes the way in which the Japanese “move through space in a way that displays faith” due to the fact that the “metaphysical and physical world are linked visually and spatially” (Inouye 59). I pondered expanding this idea to be not only applicable to the Japanese and their expression of Buddhism and spirituality, but to the mission of architecture and interior design as a whole. Perhaps the goal of either: to “make the world more beautiful” is not as simple as I originally thought. Architecture and art are not necessary if they merely act as decoration, but if they exert a form and that is recognized and appreciated by people, I believe they remain as important as I originally thought.