I grew up in a place surrounded by missionaries who were incredibly humble, simple, enlightened, and stoical as they worked on the human soul. Their work was especially important to our community because of their extraordinary capability in smoothly and harmoniously integrating the spiritual with the secular. They encouraged everyone to pursue knowledge in order to enact God's work and readily invited teachers and professionals into their circles to share developments from their fields. They embraced the secular not in spite but because of their devout beliefs. If there was anything they were against it was the tyrannizing of the human soul and its corruption both by oneself and others.
As an artist, I like to use my works to pay tribute to the great efforts of these missionaries and also to continue their work. Like them, I also want to work on the human soul, albeit in the capacity of an artist. In technique, my artworks are essentially a creative fusion of myriads of photographs, sometimes as many as 30, and a variety of digital techniques. I like to find all the elements I need to produce my composition- colors, lines, textures, light, form, etc entirely from my environment through photography. So I’m sometimes pointing my camera at some light, taking color or texture off someone’s hair, or capturing running water in my sink. Essentially, I start with a single photograph that serves as a space for my introspection. The image taking shape as I weave new elements into the photo and my introspection, which is essentially a dialogue between place, experience, and individual consciousness, reciprocally influence and deepen each other. The resulting work is always something totally new that resonates with aesthetic appeal while also being evocative and enlightening.
In producing Devotion, an artwork to celebrate Ephesians 6:10-20, I drew inspiration from the great heroism displayed by those among the faithful who, despite their dire circumstances, are unrelenting in their commitment to the covenant they have established with God and therefore strive valiantly in establishing God's work and smiting the mortal enemy within and outside of them with their great righteousness. At the same time, Devoted is also an encouragement for those who lack that heroism and whose actions deeply affect others in society.
The particular work that I created to celebrate Ephesians 6:10-20 is entitled Devoted. In creating this artwork, I paid particular attention to the circumstances where such verses would help the faithful. The main visual element I decided to use is that of a devoted surfer in dire but undefeated circumstances. My artwork seeks to depict a devout person holding steadfast to her covenant with God (symbolized as the surfboard) and her sense of righteousness that it produces (symbolized by the oar she is clutching) despite being in wretched circumstances. Protected by God's brilliant shield (symbolized as the disc enclosing the entire scene), this devout person is not at an inflection point where she must choose between her faith and evil. She knows she will never compromise her faith. As she awaits the rough waves of the murky waters, she is recalling Ephesians 6:10-20, which she believes will deliver her the strength she needs to smite the devil with the full force of her righteousness.
I would like to thank my wife Chia-Wen Tsai and my friend Ryan Berg for the comments they offered on my work and for encouraging me in my journey as an artist.
Most importantly, I would like to thank God for opening my path as I labored in producing this work.
Devotion is a digital artwork that appears in 10 versions. Each version comes with its own copyright ownership which is immediately transferred to the buyer along with a certificate of authentication.
As a wall art, the work offers a simple but highly elegant way to decorate homes, offices, libraries, civic centers, and religious and spiritual places while provoking viewers to contemplate on the condition of the human soul. The price of the wall art printed on a high quality canvass of the buyer's choice and framed according to his/her preference is in the range of USD 1200-1500 (shipping included).
Devoted is also developed in a way that makes it easy to print the work on watch faces, clocks, pendants, badges, bowls, saucers, and plates. The disc enclosing the scene in the art is of great value as it represents the shield of God. Buyers who are interested in buying the art for the purposes just mentioned can contact the owner.
I like creating digital artworks that can evoke conversations on the condition of the human soul and that can also show the joyful practice of faith in a secular world. I develop simple and elegant works that can be used to decorate homes, offices, libraries, civic centers, and religious and spiritual places. A lot of my artworks also depict a circular disc enclosing the scenes I create, making it easy to print them on watch faces, clocks, pendants, badges, bowls, saucers, and plates. Anyone interested in buying my digital artworks is welcome to connect with me through my Instagram (josephnyust) or through e-mail (email@example.com).
Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!