Manifesto of Mirena Rhee

The reason I have decided to write a Manifesto as opposed to an artist statement is because everything I do is driven by my deeply held beliefs.

I believe in frugal and simple living and the clarity which comes with being a little bit hungry and having only one meal a day. I believe we have become too reliant on transactional and market thinking when the best things in life like love, kindness, friendship and affection are given freely. I believe possessions take from people’s lives and encourage you to live with as few possessions as possible.

I practice logical ecology and use reasoning to figure out how to live better and more ecological life. I reasoned that living simply and frugally is the most direct way of living ecologically. I also reasoned that it is best for the ecology of your own immediate environment and your own body to deal with fewer possessions and fewer meals. Every one of your possessions is taking from you square footage and your valuable time, to acquire, store, care for, move and dispose of. Every meal also takes from your valuable time in terms of having to acquire food, prepare, eat and cleanup, and store afterwards.

I was reading on Larry Page and it struck me that he is building a large ecohouse. A large ecohouse is an oxymoron. Here is how to live an ecological life - live simply. You need a room to sleep in and a room to work in and two meals a day, even better, one meal a day. This is the most ecological way to live.

I believe that art is about ideas and beliefs rather than techniques and forms. A well executed form without ideas is decoration. A decoration doesn’t have the power to pierce the veil of the material.

I believe art expresses the ideal world into the material world. The highest form of art is the one least burdened by the material. Art is a result of an artist’s seeking of inner truth.

An artist is a person who has devoted a significant amount of time to creating art. An artist is also a person who seeks an inner truth which crystalizes into what I call deeply held beliefs. For the same reason a race car driver must race cars to be called a race car driver, and moreover must be an expert at it, an artist must do art and become an expert at it to be called an artist.

Drawing and disegno ( the drawing and the design ) are the most direct and truthful forms of art. The line is a perfect record of the artist laying down the design, the moment of crystallization of the ideal onto the material. The ideal pours through the artist’s hand and forms the line and the line is the most immediate expression of the ideal.

For an art to be art all three must be present - a deeply held belief and an inner truth, an artist and a process of laying down the disegno must be present.