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Our Body Our Museum / Spirit is Art.

Kamin Lertchaiprasert: What is Art?

Video Source: www.guggenheim.org/video/what-is-art

Kamin Lertchaiprasert in Guggenheim: www.guggenheim.org/guggenheim-foundation/artist/kamin-lertchaiprasert

 

31st Century Museum of Contemporary spirit

My childhood happiness was to gaze into the sky full of clouds which were mimicking living sculptures, which naturally came in different forms and shapes. The clouds change shape all the time, but sometimes they gather as one big black heavy cloud hanging in the sky ready to pour rain. At that age, I happily played in the rain without worried catching cold, getting sick or wet. I always wondered what are clouds made of? How do they become rain? And where would it drift towards?

Similarly, the Museum of 31st Century is just like the condensed clouds ready to pour rain. The appearance of the clouds changes all the time depending on terrain and surrounding factors – just like the Museum of 31st Century. The museum is not just seven or eight containers grouped together to form the number thirty-one, just to fill with cultural artifacts, nor two or three hundred people that form the number thirty-one, but also includes the website of the Museum of the 31st Century.

These components are not just the symbol of ideas derived from my curiosity regarding spiritual values in the living for hope and for change. The real meaning of the Museum of 31st Century is about cultural space of the future for our living and inner spirit. It is about liberating our freedom of expression. I believe one should not be dominated by any social institute or a group of people who make decisions for us on our societal and culture values. Every single life has a remarkable value, so we need to respect the differences.

Rain can happen anywhere in the world as long as the conditions are right. This statement applies just the same to expressions which can happen anytime, anywhere, in any form such as through behaviors, cultural activities, or artworks which depends on the right factors. It is like the value of love, compassion and respect we show to each other including freedom of expression. These considerations are in all of us, but for some reasons – perhaps it is because of what we have gone through in life for our self-benefit. Unfortunately, education and socialization took that freedom away. The more we learn about social values, ethics, social norms, cultural beliefs, and most disciplines, the less freedom remains. For this reason, we do not have time to appreciate and play in the rain like before.

When we were young, our childhood innocence helped us to be daring, less worrisome, giving ourselves lots of alternatives in expression, while always challenging ourselves to learn new things with a positive and eager attitude. Do we still have those attitudes as we become adult? Along our path to becoming an adult, it can be said that life was cruel. But it is like the interconnectedness of many things.

For example, in the natural order of things a predator will kill its prey in order to survive, but humans, consumed by greed and lust, will destroy an entire food chain not to relieve our hunger, but to satisfy our greed. While animals will kill to eat, we will kill for trophies, for our ego, for our greed, or for accumulating money and goods for an imagined or illusionary future. This often results in destruction of species and environments, resulting in hunger and chaos for those living in that environment.

We cause wars. We produce weapons to protect ourselves and never stop producing, yet do not want others to also build weapons. Humans talk about world peace, but never promote peace in ourselves. We cannot change others’ behaviors if we did not change ourselves first. We need the courage to go beyond what we have learned and cultural limitations to awaken our natural state of love, compassion and freedom of expression. These expressions of our human spiritual values can happen only when we have respect for these values in ourselves and others.

The website www.31century.org is a space where the work and activities that express our human spiritual values can continue whether there are physical containers or not. Just as a cloud can collect humidity, waiting for the right conditions to rain, so this website- like a cloud – is waiting to be nourished by the sunshine and warmth of our love, compassion and freedom of expression by all of us until they can rain down. This rain will further nourish the world.


Kamin Lertchaiprasert
June 2010

 

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