Mind, just like the painter,
can paint the different worlds.
The Five Skandhas arise from it;
there is nothing it does not create.
Tsz Shan Monastery Buddhist Art Museum is a cultural space for spiritual nourishment. The Museum offers a healing journey through connecting with Buddhist art, and exploring beyond appreciation of the master pieces. Through the art making process, we see into the nature of one’s own being and inquire into our inner resources for insight and transformation. The Museum wishes that every visitor can engage in compassionate actions towards ourselves and others, thereby enhancing individual and community wellbeing.
Shaun McNiff, pioneer in the field of Expressive Arts Therapy since 1970’s, described “the arts emerge spontaneously as remedies, soul medicine.” Different forms of art have played significant roles in health and healing rituals since ancient times. For example, the Navajo would use song and dance for specific illness while Tibetans would use mandala sand painting for healing and blessing. Nowadays, there are museums partnering with doctors to prescript clients for free museum visits. The aesthetic aspiration and creative process of art is healing. The art marking process is an instinct towards self-expression, allowing us to connect our body, mind and spirit, whereas freeing the body’s natural healing power for resilience.
International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) defines expressive arts as “the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development.” The integration of multi-arts in the creative process facilitates access to our inner resources for growth and healing, therefore, initiates insight for change. Although art healing and arts therapy are similar, the former one is an individual process without guidance while the later one involves a therapeutic relationship between the therapist, client and arts (both process and product).
The Museum’s Aesthetic Response Programme offers visitors a platform to contemplate upon their appreciation journey, and express their feelings and thoughts through creating their own master pieces. The programme design is driven by the loving-kindness framework and integration of expressive arts therapy approach to provide a unique experience to visitors at the Museum. Through different types of experiential activities and expressive arts therapy workshops, the Museum aspires to provide a safe space for aesthetic response and spiritual nourishment.