Bridging East and West through the Arts
Long before the creation of centers for dispute resolution, artists have promoted understanding and unity through their work. Art can be seen then as a powerful means of conflict prevention. Several artists today have created beautiful work that draws on inspiration from east and west.
Living in Beijing, China, Shirin Sahba describes her “commitments to canvas” as arising from “her reflections on the nature of diverse peoples’ engagements with myriad spaces have evolved a unique consciousness in her art: humanity is one and humanity’s watchword is unity in diversity. And to accept this is to insist on drawing (out) the joy, the goodness, the beauty of people relating to people relating to spaces.” This beauty, blending and merging of the diversity and vibrancy of east and west comes through in her vibrant paintings.
Lin Feng Mian (1900-1991) similarly integrated elements of east and west in his oil and ink paintings. His painting of a pond of lotus flowers captures the beauty of the lotus flower with sharp depth and realism.
Leili Towfiq, an artist in Boston, MA, transcends geographic boundaries with her handmade studio ceramics and art jewelry that draws on the richness and diversity of “color, science, art, math, music, architecture, nature, design, patterns, typography, textures, learning, beauty, soul ….” As a “citizen of the world” she finds and shares joy in “learning, reflecting and interacting.”
These artists each make a unique contribution to conflict prevention by demonstrating the beauty, unity as well as diversity of the human family.