Creative Minds by Daniela Xuereb

A merge of fashion with are was how Jason Luís art exhibition was advertised last month; I met the Chinese-American artist at the venue ñ Goth hairdressing salon in Sliema ñ where he was putting together the final details for his eight art installations. While absorbing the unique ambience of an artist installing his work, Jason sat comfortably on the floor allowing me to delve into his life as an artistÖ

I discovered that this is a man who celebrates all the different stages of life, including the ups and downs that go with it. What to many might be insignificant, Jason give it a meaning. ìArt is the communication between the artist and the viewer. My art is about the logical and emotional aspects of me,î he says. ìI choose a subject that touches me and work on it. The likelihood is that it will touch everyone else because beneath the skin we are all equal.î

Jason studied art in the US and Italy and his work is bought both locally and internationally, however, he believes creativity should be inspired by personal experiences. ìThis is why I will never fit my paintings to the market. I need to feel my art.î

To him, everyone is an artist, but the crucial point is for the artist to be clear about the message being communicate; through his art, from his hear to the viewers. ìArt is no longer linear. There has been a sudden awakening, people have realized they have the power to create and to be different. Malta is surrounded by art, literature and theatre. This clearly shows the country is run by liberal democratic government.î

Where art is concerned, Jason says there is no ërightí or ëwrongí, ëgoodí or ëbadí. ìEvery work of art has a life of its own,î he explains, ìArt is the voice within, art is you.î

Entitled Yanse Unleashed (Yanse meaning colour in Chinese), Jason believes colour is an illusion. He elaborates on this throughout his exhibition and the idea of merging fashion with art is aimed towards encouraging people to leave their comfort zone ñ ìfinding the child withinÖ some excitement, be it fashion, new hair style, colour, food, in anything that is new experience.î

Jasonís exhibition consists of four conceptual works of art and another four depicting the reflection of the conceptual. Although I can highlight a few, each of Jasonís work cannot be totally absorbed unless they are personally seen and experienced. So do not miss out on this unique artistic journeyÖ

Upon entering Goth, Jasonís Arty Fraty greets you. ìArt is such a loaded term, it has obsessed people for centuries and been the subject of endless discussions and disagreements.î The artist explains. ìThis is why, not only shall I not attempt to add my own definition to the mix, but I would like, in this work, to dismiss it completely for its banal existence and for having, by its very nature, created this indulgent, man mad institution we call ìartî.

We move upstairs to view Elements of Life. ìA couple of month ago I was rummaging though my lock junk yard, as you do, and there, discared, was this skull of a dog. It mad me think about the cycle of our lives and that if I buried it in my back yard, it would give birth to a new life,î Jason said.

ìOf course, I would water the patch, because water is one of the main sources of life, and without water, there is no life. So here, I have take the artistic license to control, unlike in nature, the elements of life. I have placed the skull on the constrained ëframeí of life and ëleashedí the water source in a container, to feed this organic structure.î

A golden tree of life has then grown from the roots. Jason chose to paint the skull red ñ this is the colour know as the ërootí chakra, the chakra used in our survival instinct.

The other art installations include Crowning Glory showing that we are greater then the sum or our thoughts if we manage to unleash ourselvesÖ ìfrom the mundane physical level. This as human beings walking this earth is what is in face our crowing glory.î

The Child Within, is an installation showing how our lives have been shaped by many factors including sociological ones. ìAs we grow up, the inherent nature of our persona gets obscured through our daily experiences. This is me as a young child, light in nature. However, as we live our lives this ëlightí is obscured and darkened by emotions such as prejudice and anger; we are burdened by the baggage of experiences which we carry, and in a way used as defense mechanisms or as shields as we journey through this life.î These, Jason adds, ìleash us into a box of acceptable social norms and then we conform and become institutionalized as a means of survival.