- Baha’is abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for 19 days. While this abstention from food and drink is a test of one’s will and discipline, the Fast is not just about abstaining from food. The Fast is, primarily, a spiritual practice.
Several years ago, we heard from Ian Huang about his multidisciplinary detail-rich art and how his creative practice relies on prayer and meditation. In this post, Ian shares about his new projects, designs and products that he’s been developing through his company called Wondra. Before we get to his words, here’s a sneak peak:
What spiritual lessons have you been reflecting on since we last featured your work?
There have been many! I would say there have been some remarkable lessons I’ve learned from going through hurtful experiences. These have been catalysts to a deeper spiritual routine that’s made my life very enriched and bountiful.
Every morning I pray and then meditate for an hour. It’s a practice that I have found invaluable. By the end of each meditation, my body is filled with an undeniable spiritual fire. I’ve learned to let go of “needs” that I may have been holding on to. Need implies there’s lack, and since I feel so fulfilled, there’s no space for lack to exist.
I’ve learned the spiritual lesson that no one can truly adversely affect anyone’s energy. If I react to something, I make it a healthy one. It’s reorientation to life that has given me insight into how God drizzles meaningful daily miracles for everyone. It creates such a deep sense of gratitude for life in me.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a collection for Ayyam-i-Ha, and just the Baha’i world in general for. It’s important for me to reimagine how I create Baha’i products, so I’m expanding the Faith’s light into everyday items that are accessible both to Baha’is and to the general public. I’m using the beautiful 9-pointed star, creating shapes, patterns and monograms that I hope inspire and remind us of our own purpose.
How and what principles inform your art?
Awe, wonder, creating space to catalyze internal radiance, and beauty. In fact, I wanted a name that reflected these feeling, so I’ve renamed my company to WONDRA, which had been Ian Artistry previously. It’s important that I strive to spark delight or awe in everything I create. I hope people feel something when they see or use my creations.
Could you share some thoughts on the role of art in releasing the society building powers of the Faith?
The Universal House of Justice has mentioned in various letters the importance of using the arts in our activities. Whether in children’s classes, junior youth groups or study circles, to name a few, there’s encouragement to be creative, to expand our experiences with art, and these expressions can deepen our understanding of a concept, prayer or writing. This can help us in sharing with others what we’re learning. People can learn they are creatives, everyone is a creative, in some ways or others, but that doesn’t always mean artistically, but every single soul has the capacity to create a life they want to live.
Every human being makes up this world’s experience, so if art cultivates wonder and spirituality in every individual, then artists have the power to brighten the fabric of our collective human experience.
That doesn’t always mean our daily routines become different and we only do things that are cliche “spiritual”, it means we approach our daily tasks without the grip of need, fear, or lack.
Imagine we approach everything with “does this burden me or brighten me?”, and since we are no longer fearful because Light is behind the wheel, we change lanes to ones that support and keep our our relationship to that Light buoyant.
Artists are so effective in catalyzing change, and it isn’t sufficient to support artists with a compliment. We are creating things to enrich your life, and n this world, we all understand that we value what we invest in, and artists deserve investment. I know I’ll always buy something that is a reminder of light, and I want to keep that ball rolling.
Thank you, Ian, for taking the time to share this with us.
You can find Ian’s products and designs on Wondra.
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