Saturday, October 15, 2011

Connecting the dot between art and spirituality

I love art. And anything creative. Not to say I am so artsy fartsy and talented. But I just love the freedom of expression. However, the boundless possibilities of how u can express your thoughts and ideas can be troubling to me. Like nudity. Or anything sexual. Or woman as the central object of art. Or violence. Which probably make one argues that those limitations will then defeat the purpose of art in the first place. Oh well, if life has no limitation, no boundary, wouldn't that put us at par with the animals? No??

So I was very excited to listen to Peter Gould talking about spirituality and art yesterday. How do you connect the dot. Very relevant. To me. And the kids too.
To avoid the bad traffic on Friday night, we went to Central Market early. I love this place. Tourists tend to agree with me too :)
Since it was still early, kids spent some time wandering around while waiting for Maghrib.
 And we watched the sunset from Dataran Merdeka. The kids literally had the whole field for themselves. There were not many people around. Suprisingly on Friday night. But I had not been to Dataran Merdeka for more than 20 years. And the weather was good. So it was pretty nice to chill out.
And enjoyed some pretty awesome sight. Aaahhhh...don't u just love life small pleasures?? ;)
The event started at 8pm in Annexe Gallery, Central Market. Annexe Gallery provides a platform and space for contemporary art. From time to time, there are interesting events lined up for everybody. 
Last night, it was another full house event by Young Muslims Project. Kudos guys ;)
The 2 artists. Daniel Zain is the founder of Young Muslim Project. He is a photographer. Peter Gould is an Australian graphic designer. A Muslim revert.
Some of the creative artworks by Peter Gould. He shared how he connects the dot between spirituality and art. By making a difference. Using art to open up hearts and minds. And staying relevant.
One of the projects he's involved in. The development of myQuran app for I-pad.
I found the talk really inspiring. And enlightening. I hope it inspired the kids too. Especially Luqman. There are lots of great advice. Ways to use art to inspire people and spread the message. In whatever form. Comic, graphic design, painting, branding, music etc etc etc.

They shared how they stick to their principle in their course of work. Which is not easy especially when you first started. As a struggling artist, it takes lots of faith to stick to your principle. One closed door will lead to opening of another door. Usually a BIGGER door. If u believe all the rezeki comes from the Almighty.

Kiddos are at the stage where they start to explore and dabble into bits of everything. Comic, doodles, anime, music, graphic, fashion, craft, game design etc etc. Most of the time it's just random meaningless bits and pieces. And fleeting interest. But I hope over time, those interest and works will grow into something serious and meaningful.

In one of the lectures by Imam Suhaib Webb, I had the privilege to ask him a question. From his experience, and from the history of Rasulullah saw inspiring the youngsters and transforming them into great people, what can I do to inspire a teenager? His answer was it takes a village to inspire young people. Invest to be in the fabric of community. An institution that is relevant to the young people is crucial. And surround them with a community that can supports their interest. Whatever their interest is. Which is why I believe organization like YMP & YAWA are so important in developing the youth. He also believes it's important to create a culture that support young Muslim psychologically. Something that gives value to them and make them feel valued.

One of the mistakes in handling teenagers is we tend to incubate them instead of preparing them. Sometimes we entrusted the wrong person to handle them. And sometimes there's a mismatch in expectation. We try to fit a size 12 on a size 9 feet.

But Imam Suhaib did mention, if we have done all the above, and they are still not inspired, maybe it's just not time yet. Inspiration is acquired. It will come over time. He joked...u had no idea how hard it is to be a teenager. God knows how much stuffs are going in their mind. Well, I guess pretty a LOT. Especially my dearest Luqman ;)

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