Philosophy

When we see the history of art philosophy in the past 100 years, it becomes obvious that there have been at least two major waves of art philosophy, namely the “modernism” and “post-modernism.”  Despite the fact that modernists may appear to be one single group from a distance, it actually consisted of artists with diverse philosophical beliefs and the only common factor they shared was the denial of Victorian “idealism.”  Among the modernist philosophers, however, “positivists” eventually appears to have gained the strongest influence over both art and science and led to overall “reductionism.” Of course, we cannot ignore the influence of Freudian theory that reduced the human motivation to sexual and aggressive drives and also behaviorists’ explanation of human nature, being at the mercy of stimuli-response contingency.  Postmodernists further denied any core values and “decentralized” everything.  It is interesting to see the parallels between various Greek philosophies and recent western philosophies: Plato’s idealism and Victorian idealism, Democritus’ atomism and logical positivism, and Protagoras’ relativism and post-modernism.  The question is if “relativism” is the only alternative to the modernism or even to the Victorian idealism.  My answer is “No.”  We have forgotten one more important philosophical tradition that existed since the Greek era, namely, the process philosophy founded by Heraclitus.  According to Heraclitus, the fundamental nature of the universe is a change and permanence is an illusion.  From this standpoint, it is meaningless to debate on what is “fundamental,” whether it is in spiritual dimension or in physical dimension.  Rather, it would make more sense to consider that human experience in every dimension is valid in its own and nothing can be reduced to realities in other dimension. In other words, phenomena in every dimension possess the same ontological reality as processes. From this perspective, we cannot simply celebrate the beauty of spiritual dimension while we cannot simply reduce the human nature to sexual or aggressive drives, either.  When we accept all aspects of our nature without judgment and express the struggles we all go through in this ever-changing world, we are bound to reach a new artistic expression.  In such an artistic expression, you may find the human nature in various dimensions depicted in the same time and/or space and yet the process of our struggle and transformation (whether at the individual level or at the societal level) would be also addressed in some manner.  Only through such artistic expressions, I find the potential for artworks retrieving their original significance in the society, namely, “to move” people.  Of course, what you have just read is my goal as an artist and I feel that it is my life-long mission to create such artworks on stage.  However, I have to admit that I am enjoying this “process” of attempting to reach my true goal… 

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