At the beginning of this year, January 17, 2020, we celebrated the opening of my one-man exhibit with an opening reception in the Connie Eastburn Gallery at Cairn University. I still feel blessed that a big crowd was able to attend and experience the art show, which was exhibited for just over a month before the COVID outbreak closed it down. This exhibition—Elioenai (Toward God are Mine Eyes)—focuses on the “science of life” through massively enlarged depictions of cellular processes and human anatomy. As an artist and practicing healthcare provider, I merge my spiritual walk with medical science into “biomorphic expressions,” by which I mean “life transformation” on both micro and macro levels.

Pretribulation - mixed media 24x24”

Creating enormous pieces of art that reflect biological processes on the cellular level reminds me constantly of how we are each changed through our personal journeys. We don’t usually see what is happening in our bodies—our cells take care of their jobs automatically, invisible to us, and typically without drawing any attention. But looking closely and artistically at how our bodies work reveals the transformative nature of ordinary biology. I can see my own experience in things like an EKG tracing the electrical activity of the human heart. My heart beats just like that one, all day, every day. Through crafting art that represents biomorphic forms, I can convey to others my own journey of transformation, which had its turning point when I accepted Christ Jesus and received the hope that comes with Him.

The Lord leads a believer through transformation to grow our faith in Him. He does this through trials, sometimes even spiritual battles that cause great suffering. Praise God that he gave us hope, and according to his promises, we are able to overcome and find refuge in Him. He equips us with power, strength, wisdom, and reassurance, and He sustains us through it all, even restoring us when we fall.

From Jun Gueco Cruz’s latest exhibition, Elioenai (Toward God are Mine Eyes)

This year—2020—has been difficult. As the summer ends, some have lost their jobs, others have buried their loved ones, and everyone’s life on the whole globe has been disrupted. Even in the midst of this global pandemic—where grief, despair, and uncertainty are visibly plaguing the world—we need to keep our eyes focused on God. Humans will always experience ups and downs in our lives—times when we feel like we are living in the clouds and others when we feel like every breath is a fight. We all suffer. It is a human constant. It is how we respond to the suffering that is vital to our Christian walk.

During the toughest times in our lives, through the suffering, God can show us the growth he wants to accomplish in us. Endurance and faith are what you and I need to take us through life’s greatest battles and struggles. We have to hold on and remember that hidden within our seasons of suffering are the seeds for growth, and potentially even greatness.

Fibrosis—Mixed Media 36x24 in

Just like invisible biological processes in our body keep our hearts beating, just as there are processes that break apart our food and reconstitute it into nourishment for our cells, just as each breath follows the last without the need for us to direct it, God has provided everything we need to overcome the tests and trials of life through our relationship with Him. As we focus on God’s goodness, wisdom, and power in times of pain, we will experience ultimate victory.

Author Bio

Jun Cruz is a dialysis nurse and a Philadelphia-based artist who grew up in the Philippines and is heavily influenced by his indigenous Kapampangan identity. His latest exhibit, Elioenai, has reopened in the Connie Eastburn Gallery at Cairn University in Langhorne, PA, and will be available to view through October 2020 (https://cairn.edu/arts/). Cruz’s work has been featured in venues like the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the GSIS Museum. His Imperishable Seed artwork is featured in the Engage Art Cards [[link]]. He has earned several prestigious awards, including most recently the Michelangelo International Prize in July 2019 at the Brancaccio Palace in Rome. He is also part of the Pampanga Arts Guild and Christians In the Visual Arts (CIVA).