Photo by Nikolas Markantonatos
When students returned from fall break, the Hogan Lawn was alive with visual art and music, as Yin Peet, visiting lecturer in the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, along with several student performers and faculty at the College, conducted an artistic demonstration called Dancing Calligraphy, which featured a 36-foot wide canvas laid out on the ground. While a temple drummer played music at various rhythms? and speeds, performers wrote calligraphy in a spontaneous act of self-expression.
“In the contemporary arts we have commonly recognized that sound is one of the effective elements that could enhance one’s visual experience,” explains Peet, who is also the director of Contemporary Arts International, a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting the creation and understanding of multi-disciplinary arts in a global context. “It is important for artists to balance all elements involved in a piece of art,” she continues.
Currently teaching an East Asian Art Studio course at the College, Peet has introduced her students to calligraphy (an artistic form) and Zen (a Japanese ideology and practice), both of which were fundamental to the production of Dancing Calligraphy, as the goal of the work was to demonstrate that action is the essence of performance and that the axiom “Be yourself” lends itself to the creation of significant expressive art.
“It was necessary to collaborate with others in the community due to the project’s scale and its fundamental spirit,” says Peet, explaining why the demonstration required many performers.
“It was great working with fellow students,” says Nicole Tan ’15, a student in Peet’s East Asian Art Studio class. “We function better as a group, as we can support each other,” she continues.
Gary DeAngelis, associate director of the Center for Interdisciplinary and Special Studies at the College, also remarks on his participation in the event, saying, “It encompassed the very essence of Zen, a total immersion of your mind, body and spirit in the immediate moment.”
Reflecting on the creative process behind Dancing Calligraphy, Peet says, “It’s simply living the life.”
Other performers included Susan Schmidt, professor of visual arts; Cristi Rinklin, associate professor and chair of the visual arts department; De-Ping Yang, professor of physics; Katelyn Candee ’14, Kimmi Cheung ’13, Madeleine Coticchia ’13, Mary Gallagher ’13, Kelsey Killeen ’13, Kharisha Laroco ’15, William Shrader ’13, and Brooks Wait ’13.