I have travelled to many countries worldwide over the past 20 years and interacted with people from different backgrounds. Through these interactions, I have explored the creation and presentation of art in various contexts. This experience has given me a unique perspective on the world and the power of art in bringing people together.
One of the significant challenges we face today is feeling disconnected from the problems of others and global issues like climate change, even when we could easily do something to help. We often do not feel strongly enough that we are part of a worldwide community, part of a larger “we”. Giving people access to data usually leaves them feeling overwhelmed and disconnected, not empowered and poised for action.
This is where art can make a difference. Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect us to our senses, body, and mind. It can make the world feel. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement, and even action.
I believe that one of my primary responsibilities is to help people understand something with their minds and feel it emotionally and physically. By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information and motivate people to turn thinking into doing.
Engaging with art is not simply an isolated event. The skills and culture represent one of the few areas in our society where people can come together to share an experience, even if they see the world differently. The important thing is not that we agree about the understanding we share but that we consider it worthwhile sharing an experience. In art and other forms of cultural expression, disagreement is accepted and embraced as an essential ingredient.
In this sense, the community created by arts and culture is potentially a great source of inspiration for politicians and activists who work to transcend the polarizing populism and stigmatization of other people, positions, and worldviews that is sadly so endemic in public discourse today. Art also encourages us to cherish intuition, uncertainty, and creativity and constantly search for new ideas; artists aim to break the rules and find unorthodox ways of approaching contemporary issues.
As I continue to create and exhibit my art, I hope to touch people everywhere and remind them of our interconnectedness as a global community. We must remember that we have the power to make a difference; through the arts, we can truly feel that connection and be moved to action.