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An Artistic Path to the Dao

A journey into the depths of Wu Kuan Te's distinct paintings unveils his unusual perspective on the Dao

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Forty years ago, when a young Wu Kuan Te received a blue-covered book from his father, he figured it must be something special. “If you manage to comprehend it one day, your life will take a different course,” his father said.

This was the Dao De Jing, an ancient book about the Dao, or the Way of nature and the cosmos, written by sage Lao Tzu thousands of years ago; and with each word Wu read and puzzled over he unconsciously integrated the meaning of the Dao into his art and his life.

Indeed, gazing at Wu’s oil painting masterpieces is like diving headfirst into the dynamic motion of the earth. Lush vegetation and clouds interweave elegantly, poignantly capturing the transience of life. Wu’s work unfolds like a meandering river, navigating the dimensions of time and space to evoke an unconscious yet profound yearning and admiration.

Wu’s oil painting Mirror in the Heart depicts the reflection of vibrant trees on the water’s surface.

Flowing with fate

While decades have passed since Wu received the Dao De Jing, his keen interest in its teachings has only deepened, and he continues to glean wisdom from its pages.

“At school, we’re taught to see things from a human perspective, yet what I learned from the Dao De Jing is to see everything within this world from the perspectives of the universe and nature,” Wu says.

“The more I read it, the more fascinating it was. It eventually became a habit of mine to read it every night before I went to bed. I would flip to a random page and muse over the words.”

Order the Magnifissance print edition to read the full story.

This story is from Magnifissance Issue 124

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Inspired for a Beautiful Life

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