Updates from Mn Artists

by SMAC

A light skinned asian woman with makeup and medium length dark brown hair swept to one side of her head. She is wearing a brown sweater and a gold necklace that says "sun yung"Mn Artists Guest Editor Sun Yung Shin

In this series, Native artists and artists of color living and working in Mni Sota responded to a very open prompt asking them to respond to the question of how their artistic practice is influenced by their, and their people’s, spiritual practices and beliefs. In considering how art-making is a way of engaging with the spirit, writers conjured the words and images of indigeneity and colonization, visions and premonitions, dance, rivers, lakes, oceans, salt, shamans, callings, bodies, dreams, deaths, grief, vulnerability, genesis, destruction, and protection. Culturally-specific approaches to spirit–what animates us as human beings–and the secret lines of communication with the other-world(s), under-world(s), and after-world(s) criss cross our synapses and uphold, as an invisible architecture, our ways of creating, whether texts of words or of dance. Everything is made by the body, and the body is one home, one way station, one route of the spirit(s). A text is a body, and the word text simply means something woven. These artists generously shared their inner visions of some aspects of their relationships to their texts and how spirit cannot be separated from the living process of making art.

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin is the award-winning author of three books of poetry, the editor/co-editor of three anthologies, and the author/co-author of two books for children. With fellow Korean immigrant poet Su Hwang, she co-directs Poetry Asylum. She is a full-time artist and cultural worker, and lives in Minneapolis with her family; more at www.sunyungshin.com.

FEATURED STORIES
Korean stone sculptures from the Joseon Dynasty, in an outdoor exhibit at the Korean Stone Art Museum. Eight light stone sculptures, in the form of human figures with hands clasped, stand in a grove of gravel, bushes, and trees
Decolonizing the Invisible & Visible: Artists Illuminate the Potent Presence of Spirit in their Creative Practices

Poet 신 선 영 辛善英 Sun Yung Shin, Mn Artists’ next guest editor, introduces a series of writings on the relation of art practice, body, and spirit.

Red block letters with the word “LOVE” stand in the background, beside a snarling coyote holding a blue rooster in its mouth.
Spirit Talk

Writer Mona Susan Power shares an account of how the Universe might enter into writing practice: through listening to vision, intuition, and “characters who arrive like strangers and end up relatives.”

Two hands cup a white paper boat, against a background of blue fabric.
Remembering One’s Own: Answering the Call of Spirit

Poet and artist Ánh-Hoa Thị Nguyễn reflects on a project that began with a voice in a salt bath, and rippled through many art forms to honor the resilience and bravery of refugees.

Four sheets of parchment paper with burned edges, cursive and block writing, including drawings of a horse and an anatomical heart.
One’s a Crowd

Poet and visual artist Merle Geode maps a spiritual history and creative practice, from the public library to a South Korean temple to a cathedral in France.

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