I will give two programs at the U.S. National Arboretum in the Spring of 2014, under the umbrella of Photography as Zen Art, also known as Zen Through-the-Lens. The first one, Beauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable, is a show-and-tell embodying basic Zen teachings; the second one is a hands-on workshop, In Search of Artistic Personality, where participants will meet for about three hours over 4-6 Saturdays. Topics of practice will include: mindfulness meditation, Zen of creativity exercises, look-n-learn, etc… I will share my views on Photography as Zen Art and the participants will incorporate them into their works, to be created on location. The last session will include a creative activity for participants and guests of all ages and a slide presentation of the selected class images for all to enjoy.
The followings are my tentative topics of discussion:
- Photography as Zen art seeks to cultivate the mind as well as train the eyes.
- Everything has beauty, but not every eye sees it.
- Life’s transient states are as beautiful as moments of perfection.
- Beauty is found in intuition, not only in logic.
- Real seeing is a process and requires team work.
- The main instrument of creativity is the artist within.
- The real joy of photography is in the process, not product.
- A photograph’s value is in its inward significance, not outward appearance.
- Negative space is as rich as forms.
- The best time and place to photograph is here and now.
- The fastest way to learn photography is to slow down.
- The photographer is a partner, not a sole-proprietor.