Art is USEful
In January 2018, as God planned and in spite of many challenges that could have prevented me from going, I landed in Italy where Incarnate was hosted.
There, my eyes were opened to see many possibilities of combining art with missions. There, I was encouraged to use my unique art form in sharing the gospel and my own testimony. There, God gave me a tremendous gift – a spiritual brother. By taking his hand, I was led to the Heavenly Father.
Only years later, it became obvious to me that it was the Heavenly Father who stretched out His hand to take mine to go on an unimaginable journey of healing, of not just combining art with missions, but reconciling my identity with my calling.
In response to this amazing gift, I created an art piece called “Focus” in Italy. This piece has two elements: a tiny shard of broken glass which has my false identities written on it and a very big canvas filled with my true identities found in the Bible. The two have a distance between them. One can only focus on either one of them at a time to be able to read what they say.
I took the message of this piece to Taiwan during my Incarnate placement and was privileged to share in a prison. I pulled out the photo, ‘Don’t think that those who walk freely on the streets are not in prison.’ ‘This was my prison for my entire life,’ I pointed at the tiny piece of glass. It was my focus on the wrong thing that put me in ‘prison.’ Those who are truly free cannot be bound spiritually.
This art piece has been shared by myself and others in various forms in many countries internationally. The blessing continues to spread.
In 2019, I led my sixth mission trip to a small province in Southeast Asia with the vision of ‘healing brokenness with beauty and creativity.’ In a culture that dismisses physical touch and expressions of love in general, through an ‘icon board,’ the village school children can pick an icon to get a hug from their teacher instead of asking directly. Being enabled to receive love, unspeakable joy blooms on the little faces. For the first time, the schoolteacher realises how much he is needed and how his ability to give hugs makes him unbelievably rich.
Art, even in such a simplistic form can make a difference. Yes, I have proven it true, art is very USEful.
Do you want to find out more about Incarnate, a four month-long training in discipleship, theology, and cross-cultural ministry designed for artists? Applications for Incarnate 2022 are live now! Please visit the Incarnate page on our website!