“What's Art?” by Kazuhiro Sasaki
Before thinking of what-is-artquestion, I thought what human beings live for. When we think about our own culture, I realize there is 'do'(道); like 'Budo'(武道), as martial arts. We have 'do' or 'michi'(the way), in the core of our thought. For leading to the answer to what-is-art-question, I tried to pursue to Japanese way of thinking about 'do' or 'michi'. Besides, I searched famous artists' words, and I finally reached the answer; Art leads to 'do' or 'michi'.
For starters, let me think about what we live for. Speaking ultimately, all creatures are living for the prosperity descendants. All creatures, including us, eat, sleep and raise children just for the animal instincts. However, it is obvious we don't live only for them. Human beings have built up a civilization. Gradually, we have developed our desires. Having own desire means that human beings can show the difference with other creatures. So I have formulated that 'art' is one of the human desires.
The dictionary says that art is an activity to gain inspirations from mentally and sensory because of the interaction with artists or art works and audience.
I say that art is the activity to express oneself, and when we share it with others, our desire will be fulfilled. But it isn't that simple. Art isn't just a desire. There are various ways to express in art but there is always rule. Art should be distinguished between desire and mere desire.
With respecting and admiring our history and tradition, we always challenge new things in any field. I say that is an art rule. To be a master of art, it is needed to be positive and keep progressing and never be afraid of changing. It doesn't mean we imitate what our predecessors had done, but should learn from them. It is also important to listen to people's advice. Little by little, we need an accumulation of effort and should evolve continually. Otherwise art will decline. I think it is the side of art.
I know evolving constantly is essential for being a master of art. However, it isn't easy to challenge new things. I studied about top artists as Picasso and Dali, I found that they tried to imitate the art of others. They didn't copy the idea but they learned from it. I think it is a good way to find my own way of creating a new art.
Widely learning western paintings current and focusing on great accomplishments of Picasso or Dali is important. But as Japanese point of view, I wanted to know the meaning of 'budo', which has been valued since ancient times. We have some kinds of 'dou'; kendo(剣 道)as Japanese fencing, judo(柔 道) as Japanese art of selfdefense, sado(茶道) as Japanese tea ceremony and kado(華道) as Japanese art flower arrangement. They are popular in foreign countries. I think those 'dou' teach us a good way of life.
In budo philosophy, all training is done under the basis of people's precept. Through continuing training, they develop their individualities. By doing so, it can enhance moral sense, and they learn decency. Eventually it helps a personality forming. Art fulfills people's desire and the philosophy of budo seems opposite. But I think the philosophy is art itself. A famous shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu said like this; Life can be compared to going along a long road, bearing a heavy burden. That burden makes a person what he is. You don't build character by shrinking burdens and skipping along light-footedly. I replaced his way of thinking with art, his words are teaching me how difficult to be a master of art.
Aida Mitsuo, afamous Japanese poetry composed; Make your own road, Opening your own road, What made the people, Not on your own path.
I replaced the word 'road' with 'art', and I gained a deeper understanding. In conclusion, I think art refers to 'do' or the way, and making efforts to be a master of art is my way of life and my aim to live. This is what I conscious of what-is-art-question.