Super Candle, 2017, Mixed media (Sculpture & Video art), 300* 700
People have endlessly sought modernity in the past 200 years, pondering on scientific methods and new machines. We often have blind trust about those scientific and spiritual, since neither are separable from human lives. It is also true that people see science as something factual, and religion and spiritual concepts are psychic; despite this difference, I believe both are essential in people’s lives. The urge to study the spiritual concept is because of animism, which can root many religious beliefs in modern society.
 A British anthropologist Tylor explained the roots of religion through animism. Animism is a concept where other objects and living beings are understood as having souls as humans do. This concept was a quality of primitive religion, and it is difficult to see it in modern society. However, I believe that spiritual values are inseparable from our lives despite developing religious beliefs and the definition of religion itself. Since there are animistic features in modern religions like Buddhism, Christianity, and Muslim, it gives enough legitimacy to Tylor’s studies on animism as the origin and fundamentals of religion in our society.
 Discrimination based on religion and other factors is believed to have similar gravity as violence. Although people consider this common sense, it is easy to see that some believe their religion is superior to others. Instead of categorizing animism as religion or a form of belief, animism should be defined as religious “arts” and a way of life since it is deeply rooted in our characteristics, albeit the development of other “scientific” methods used in life. The desire to give personality to objects like dolls or pets directly relates to animism, which leads to the mind’s calm in our lives. Of course, just because a child wishes her dog to start talking like an actual human, it is realistically impossible for such a thing to happen; but I believe that such an act is valuable in that it provides people with comfort and refuge.
 I wish to perceive the remnants of animism in modern society as a “candle.” The act of endowing the flame with meaning – through making a wish or performing a ritual – itself is an animistic doing. The candle that we burn for many purposes looks similar to flame at its end, but throughout different cultures around the world, it carries the same meaning in it is used as a tool to reflect people’s will. Buddhist temples light candles before Buddha, and Churches do the same for God. Candle plays the role of an object of a holy being and an animistic median to carry out the believers’ messages. Candles sacrifice themselves and burn to be ceased to light the vicinity; candles are used to heat a larger space and fill the surroundings, representing the unity of the masses; and that it does not fight against the dark, it reflects hope and dreams of the lighter. They continue to burn before a spiritual figure, with people praying to overcome their memory and past with their imaginations made from contemplation before the candle. Thus, I want to show my belief that candles represent religion and animistic values through this installation art and video.

Super Candle: Reflection on Animism, 2017, Video, 00:06:00

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