Sunday, June 04, 2006

William Ho shares his one-stroke heartbeat

This post doesn't make direct reference to Thomas Moore but William Ho's approaches to his art and his life seem so sympathic to Moore's views that we've included this entry under Catalyst. Connection or Continuity may be more appropriate.

In today's Toronto Star, Janice Mawhinney says in her profile of Ho, "The art of grace: It's the process that matters, says artist William Ho about his work in his studio, in classrooms and in the wider world",
"One of William Ho's favourite themes among his Chinese brush paintings is created with a single brush stroke. "It took me 40 years of painting to be able to create this one stroke," he says. The thick stroke with a narrow jagged portion represents a heartbeat, he explains. "It is the heartbeat of all humanity. We all share a single heartbeat. It is for suffering children everywhere in the world. If a child is suffering and we all share the same heartbeat, then we are all hurting. "Every element in Ho's life and work seems saturated in this kind of profound meaning for him. He tells the students he teaches in his Chinese brush painting seminars at the Royal Ontario Museum that they are painting the spirit of the object rather than the object itself.

"Art is to uplift our souls so we can become better human beings," he says, leaning forward for emphasis. "And to me, our lives are our masterpieces."
Later in the piece, Ho talks about his heartbeat painting as the basis for public art,
"A major project he says is underway involves working with the Town of Markham on a 30-foot, interactive version of Ho's one-stroke heartbeat painting to be located in a public park. "When someone puts a hand on a station there, it will make the heartbeat move and jump," Ho says. "The idea is to have environmental living art that helps everyone to become one heartbeat."
Ho's portfolio is shown on his site.