Into Zen? Into Art? Music? Writing?
If you are into Zen, visit our web sites at www.ASZC.org for our local program; or www.storder.org for more information on our network of affiliate centers around the Use and in canada.
If you are in are into Art, please visit www.kailinart.com and sign up to receive notices of upcoming show openings, as well as to look at additional examples of my art that are on display at the gallery. Yukai will also meet you by appointment outside of gallery hours.
Zen as you can see by my Zen Profile, I am definitely into Zen. I started training at the Chicago Zen Buddhist Temple in the 1960s, when I was an undergraduate student at the Institute of Design at IIT. The combinatorial effect of simultaneously training in the Bauhaus and Soto Zen traditions left an indelible mark on my worldview and approach to problem solving in everyday life.
They say that if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If you have training in the generalist approach of Design, every problem looks like a design issue. Everything, including not just products of a graphic or industrial nature, but also every process and program, is subject to redesign. This is not necessarily a good thing, as you can easily get overcommitted to redesigning everything in your life. Ultimately, you have to choose between one thing and another. I choose Art and Zen as well as Design and Music, with a bit of Writing thrown in for good measure. Usually, I write about Art, Zen, Design, Music, or sometimes, Writing.
When it comes to Art, the next blank canvas represents the problem, and how I approach generating yet another image the solution, based on Design process as the method.
When it comes to Design, I try to revise my daily approach to the ordinary tasks of living and organizing my activities as an intentional process of simplifying, which is not simple. Simplicity is one of the great commonalities shared and held in high regard, by Art, Design, Music and Writing disciplines.
Where Music is concerned, the intersection with Zen appears in the form of settings for the ancient Indian, Chinese and Japanese poems that comprise the Liturgy, for the purpose of singing, to establish a choral tradition, much like that of other religions. Design and Writing are both necessary parts of that process, as the lyrics do not conform to standard Western musical formats, and I try to stay as true to the original translations into English as I can.
My engagement with Writing is self-evident in what you are reading, and so I hope it speaks for itself, so to say.
These four areas of activity are generally recognized as being creative in their nature, but actually in the Bauhaus philosophy of Design training, we are taught to regard all activity as inherently creative. Zen is also a practice based on taking creative action in everyday life, and the inherent creativity in engaging Music and Writing should, again, be self-evident.