Su Chi Lin
Su Chi Lin received her PhD at Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, USA. Since 2017, She has offered courses on the arts at Taiwan Graduate School of Theology and Christ’s College Taipei. She is the author of Spaces of Mediation: Christian Art and Visual Culture in Taiwan (Leipzig: EVA, 2020).
“Aboriginal Mural to Lily Cross: Social Practice in Contemporary Asian Church”
Art can express what words cannot, particularly when it touches the heart through the senses. As a form of communication, art provides another medium besides the literature confronting the viewer with profound questions that religion cannot ignore. Many contemporary church in Asia have started to engage art inside and outside the church wall in order to awaken compassion or impetus to empower the local community. To what extent is the space designed for communal worship meant to not only strengthen the believer’s faith but also fulfill the ethical response to a needy world?
This paper explores the social engagement of the arts through several case studies of faith community in Asia. In the search for space among art, worship, and public place, the transformative theme of Asian people’s lives for the church enables a fuller understanding of Christ’s incarnation. Indigenous arts as equivalent sacred texts invite an intercultural and interreligious dialogue from the perspective of the marginalized, and to show the aesthetic strategy of resistance utilized by contemporary Asian church.
Christian art and architecture interlace Asian cultural and religious imagination, mediate revelation and conversion, and serve as the hermeneutical connection between art, inculturation, and social transformation. They raise questions on how social justice functions in transforming societies within Asian contexts.