The series is the work based on Byzantine Art style depicting the Biblical event written in the New Testament, the scenery of Christ’s Crucifixion. Being a Catholic nun, I embrace and contemplate on every movement of the life of Jesus and his disciples reporting in the Bible. I have been carrying them in my heart, studying and sharing my thoughts to others using my words. From 2001, my life have changed when I came to the U.S. English is not my first language, I cannot use it to share my though fluently as I want. This puts more into silent in contemplation. Thanks to that, I discover the peaceful world of silence. It is more attractive to me than speaking, teaching and sharing my thoughts by words.
From the silent world, naturally, my energy goes to the pictures and paintings. I try to read the thoughts that the artists have put into their works. I have more time to contemplate on the sacred images. Then, out of curiosity, I start to practice just to help me to pray more profound, to unite with God and to express my thoughts in different way. I begin my journey with Byzantine Icon.
Byzantine Art style of painting is actually the process of praying. It is simple and fits to the contemplative life. The Icons originally were intended to be books to help the people who cannot read the Bible. I am not an artist. It is more accurate to call me an iconographer. I am able to copy the proportion from the original icons handed down from centuries ago and follow the methods that have been set up for this style in a real traditional way. In this method, praying is the main purpose, not creating a new image. Traditionally, it is called “writing” an icon instead of “painting” an icon. The process begins with the fasting and purifying of the iconographer to prepare him or herself to be worthy for this sacred work. The method divides the process into many simple steps so that the prayer can be applied into each step (or each layer) peacefully without distraction. Beginning with the wood board, it should be a hard and good wood. To put a thought on that to pray, I think of the innocent piece of wood in front of me which have never betrayed God as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Trees were there from the beginning of creation and still innocent until today. It is worthy to contain the Divine image which I will paint on it. Next step is the gesso with a piece of white fabric wrapping the wood. Reflecting on the burial of Christ is the prayer for this step. The process will go on in many steps and layers, and the prayers follow these steps until the end to get to the completion. In that way, an icon is not woven by strokes of paints, but the intentions and the prayers of the iconographer also present in the work.