Today I’d like to offer you a big interview jam-packed with information. Much to my surprise, it has turned out to be much bigger than I planned. In fact, it’s simply huge. Still, we’ve decided to keep it as one piece because a single posting usually works best. If you are not familiar with the concepts of “Chinese painting” and “Wu Xing”, I suggest you read the previous article called “Wu Xing Painting” where you’ll find lots of useful information, images, and a video presentation. But if you have already done that, make sure you don’t miss this one. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or whatever you would like to drink, find a comfortable place to sit and go for it.
The Path-walker: Andrey, could you please tell us what appeals to you in Wu Xing painting and why you practice it? What value does it have, and why do you prefer it to other techniques?
Andrey Scherbakov: It’s an interesting question. First and foremost, Wu Xing painting guides me on the path of spiritual growth. I see it as a tool for self-development. It’s also a way of self-expression and an art technique, but that comes second. Wu Xing painting is a vivid illustration of the fundamental principles of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy.
It’s important that we see the difference between a personal development practice we engage in and basic self-expression. Self-expression is an act of spilling all you’ve got inside or outside onto a sheet of paper whereas practice is a non-stop process of self-improvement, a dedicated effort to overcome your limitations, to forward your progress, and to expand your vision. Self-expression is directed outwards. A practice always deals with what’s inside.
The Path-walker: But what about teaching? Isn’t it directed outwards?
AS: Well, this really depends on a specific point of view. Formally, painting can also be said to flow outwards. Anything can become a personal development practice: teaching, business, personal relationships, and lots of other things. All you need to do is find a well-positioned point of view.
(to be continued)