The Meeting Point Artists Association (MPAA), a unique association of artists from both Eastern and Western backgrounds, share a philosophical premise and a poetic approach to making their art. Beyond a respect for tradition and materials, each artist in the group has an individual contemporary style and approach to the creative process. But, the most distinctive, cohesive element evident in the work of the MPAA is the non-verbal search for Ch’I. The Oriental notion of “Ch’I” cannot really be described in words, but is evident as the foundation of life: a basic energy or spiritual force that is is within every thing. Tanchu Terayama, author of “Zen Brushwork”, best describes this creative approach to art as “the ability to transform the essence of the subject with feeling and substance executed with full concentration of body and mind”. The creative process is not about creating a picture or image of something, but is in itself a refined form of meditation.
Twenty five years ago, the Meeting Point Artists Association, initially comprised of ten members, launched its first annual exhibition at Simon Wong’s China Express restaurant in Calgary. I look back at the formative years in amazement and now in hindsight, value the bond that has held this group together for so long. Over the years, MPAA has maintained a very active exhibition record locally and internationally, including over 20 consecutive annual exhibitions. The collective energy required to launch our shows both internationally and locally is daunting to say the least, especially for the many members who also have alternate professional careers.
Over the years, the MPAA has built upon the initial ‘East-West’ model and with the expanding membership now numbering 25, has grown to represent a more multi-cultural perspective. Each artist continues to develop his or her individualistic artistic practice and through the strength of the collective, share innovative approaches to new media and multi disciplinary approachs to the creative process. It is a lifetime pursuit for an artist to embrace the notion of Ch’I in their work; and it is wonderful to share this journey with kindred spirits.
Hon Sun Chu
Isabelle Hunt Johnson
Catherine Huang Tam