Unification Thought Study Guide
VII: Theory Of Art
68. What is the significance of art and beauty?
Art is an activity to create joy, and is a creative activity in which one embodies beauty and appreciates it for this purpose. The ultimate purpose of art is to receive joy through the activity of creating beauty
Beauty is an emotional stimulus from the object which is to give joy to the subject. In other words, beauty is an emotional effect which is brought about when the subject receives stimulation from the object (the same stimuli received through the functions of intellect and will are referred to as truth and goodness, respectively).
69. Why can we say that art is an activity to create joy?
(1) All things exist to bring joy to man. And man's desire is to express and enjoy the refreshing and diverse kinds of beauty (joy). Consequently, art ultimately becomes an activity to create joy.
(2) The subject can perceive joy, provided the Sung Sang and Hyung Sang of the subject and those of the object are similar. Therefore the process of the activity of art is the process through which one creates a perfect resemblance between the conditions of the subject and those of the object.
(3) Joy in art is joy through beauty, and beauty results from the harmony of the various correlative elements. Accordingly, the activity of art is the attempt to embody the harmony of the subject and the object from the point of principle and technical skill.
70. What are the two aspects of the activity of art?
The aspects of the activity of art are creation and appreciation. Creation is the activity of embodying beauty by creating works which give joy to many people including oneself. On the other hand appreciation is the activity of discovering beauty and enjoying it in works of art.
71. Why are there two aspects in the activity of art?
The reason is that man has dual purposes and dual desires.
(1) The dual purposes of man mean the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual. The purpose for the whole is to serve one's society, nation, mankind, and ultimately God, for their enjoyment. On the other hand, the individual (personal) purpose has to do only with receiving one's own joy.
(2) On account of these dual purposes, man's internal desire takes two directions. In other words, the desire for the values of truth, goodness, and beauty, takes two directions. One is the direction to embody the value, and the other is the direction to seek after the value. The former desire is a desire to realize value, and the latter is a desire to seek after value.
(3) Consequently, in art the activity of creation is a direct drive motivated by a desire to realize value, and the activity of appreciation is motivated by a desire to seek after value.
72. What are the subjective conditions and the objective conditions required in appreciation?
(1) The subjective conditions
Sung Sang conditions such as abundant thought (a view of nature, a view of life, a view of history and so on), a heart full of love transcending time and space, a cultivated sense of art, a taste for a certain field, a distinct personality (that is, the specialty of the subjective function), a certain idea and so on; and Hyung Sang conditions such as a healthy physical body (keen sense organs) and so on.
(2) The objective conditions
Sung Sang conclitons such as the purpose of creation of the work (the theme), the idea of a creator, motivation of creation, contents of a work and so on; and Hyung Sang condition such as order of materials and harmony of various correlative elements.
73. What is the beauty to be perceived when one reaches the ultimate height of truth?
(1) To reach the ultimate height of truth means to master the principle of the universe and life and to gain a deep understanding about this. From the viewpoint of heart, this means to unite with, and have a deep communication with, all mankind and all the creation.
(2) In appreciation, when we perceive the mystic (spiritual) element behind the object, rather than just the object itself, we can enjoy more glorious beauty.
(3) Based upon the conditions of the subject, when one raises one's heart and spiritual level to the ultimate, then indescribable compassionate love overflows one's heart and floods into the object. Accordingly, beauty appears in a higher dimension. Thus it deepens in quality and expands in quantity.
(4) The world of ultimate truth founded upon the principle, seen from the viewpoint of appreciation, is also the world of ultimate beauty. In other words, it is the world of absolute ecstasy, transcending knowledge and consideration, and the world in which there is unity of heart.
74. What conditions are required in creating a work of art?
The conditions of the subject and conditions of the object are required in the creation of a work of art.
(1) The conditions of the subject
These conditions are composed of Sung Sang conditions and Hyung Sang conditions.
(A) Sung Sang conditions
1 . The purpose of creation: when one begins to create something one must have clear in mind the theme and the purpose which one wants to express.
2. The attitude of heart and consciousness of the object's position: one must project full enthusiasm and a sincere heart to the creation as well as loving it. On the other hand, one must have the consciousness of an object towards the subject who is to receive the beauty. In other words, one must have the heart to be willing to serve the subject or the spirit of sacrifice for the subject. God is the ultimate subject; accordingly, one's sincere heart, eager to express the glory and magnificence of God, is a very important element in attaching eternal value to works of art.
3. Individuality: one should express to the maximum one's Individual Image based upon the Individual Image of the Original Image.
4. Others: image (idea, plan) of creation, taste, technique (especially such a technique of expression as technique of organization, technique of composition, a sketch and so on).
(B) Hyung Sang conditions
(1) One needs good health of one's physical body and proper development and training of the sense organs.
(2) The conditions of the object
The work requires materials. One must make efforts to bring about the order of materials and the harmony between materials and any other objective elements.
For that purpose material conditions, such as tools, equipment and raw materials that are required in creation, must be prepared.
75. What is the relationship between art and morality?
The essence of art is beauty and the essence of morality is love. The relationship between love and beauty is cause and effect as well as inside and outside. Both love and beauty are emotional. In other words, beauty can stand based on love. Therefore, art which deals with beauty, must be based on ethics, which is a rule of love. That means that an artist must also be an ethical being and the content of his works must have an ethical sense.
On account of this relationship between love and beauty, the variety of beauty corresponds to the variety of love. That is, there are various patterns of beauty corresponding to paternal love, maternal love, and children's love, and so on respectively.
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