Exploring Life Through Cosmic Art

Exploring Life Through Cosmic Art

“Death’s stamp gives value to the coin of life; making it possible to buy with life what is truly precious.”

~Rabindranath Tagore

Cosmic Art: A Small Glint in a Vast Nebula

This reflection nebula in this cosmic art print is the birthplace of numerous stars of less than 2 million years old. As the main component of this nebula is hydrogen alpha gas, it appears red in pictures taken with the one-shot camera.

When we turn our heads to the vast night sky, our eyes are treated to a canopy of twinkling dots whose light flickers on and off. Set to a backdrop of darkness, we could imagine them to be lighthouses on the horizon, forever showing us the way safely home. And maybe that’s why some of us yearn to return to the stars – they’re compelling works of art. Other times, I believe it’s the representation of a person’s life cycle – a small, brief yet bright glint among the infinite. You see, no human, due to our biology, can outlive a star.

The Art of Building a Legacy for Humankind

While our vessels wither and fail, one thing never does – the progress of humans. Each generation passes new knowledge to the next, and we, someday, will do the same. But this fact of life is not to be feared. To know that we will die one day is the best motivator. We cherish our time because it is limited. We strive for progress, knowing we have an obligation to leave the world a better place. Isaac Newton referenced this passing of knowledge from generation to generation, saying, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” In a way, it is as though the universe became conscious through us and realized it had a lot of self-discoveries to do. But since it didn’t bestow eternal life upon us, we are left to run against the clock in our endeavors.

Capturing the Deep Sky Slow Dance

We should be forever thankful for the wealth of information left behind by those now gone. For the universe, with seemingly endless time on its side – there is no such rush. For humans, on the other hand, subject to the limits of time; we’re always in a hurry. And that, interestingly, is what makes cosmic photography and art so challenging. When we look to the night sky, we are simply drinking in its beauty. However, when we try to capture this beauty, we come into contact with its ‘personality.’ Moment by moment, the universe fluctuates oh-so-slightly, revealing another side of its nebulous self. When we turn our lenses towards this deep sky dance, we need to be prepared to wait, watch, and respect the process. It’s within those long hours that the universe comes to us, helping cosmic art to comes to life while translating onto the canvas.

Cosmic Art Takes Time

Technological advancements have made the lengthy process of taking long-exposure, deep sky images just that bit easier. But they can’t overcome the fact that the quality of astrographs still depends on time. Fast telescopes are no exception to this rule. Many of my colleagues have taken on the world with big dreams and high hopes. But their patience with the stars runs thin. Before long, they’ve lost interest. The field of cosmic art asks that you compromise with the universe. After all, it’s giving us the gift of its immense and soul-shaking beauty – we can wait a while. And so I have sat with my telescope and camera for many hours each night, awaiting what the universe had to show me. That’s what I wish to share with the world.

Reclaiming the Power of the Night Sky

Looking outwards, the universe may make me feel infinitesimally small. But I am also reminded that I am made of the same substance as the universe. I hold that vast expanse and natural force within – just like everyone else. It makes me wonder: If I have such greatness within, why would I ever quench it. Why would I allow someone else to tell me what to do? We wouldn’t choose to dim the comforting light of the stars, so why would we dim our own? As unchecked authority grows in the world, expecting us to grind for their gain while pillaging the earth, I believe it’s time for people to collectively say “no.” We have one life and planet as of now – we need to take care of ourselves and the Earth.

Marching to the Beat of Your Own Music

I believe we all have the right to change our lives – to step away from the norms and what’s expected of us to follow our heart’s desires. For me, that’s fine arts. I feel a duty to share my talents and abilities – to touch people profoundly while showing them that they have the power of the universe within. My tool? The Fine Arts. Cosmic art, to be exact. In a world where we’re always looking for a reason, something to believe in – I ask that people believe in themselves and their inner strength. I encourage them to take control of their lives, redirecting their universe-given energy to their own significance instead of indulging the interests of others. When people entice you to anchor yourself in their harmful and dubious beliefs, always anchor within yourself.

It's not Written in the Stars

That said, not everyone has the luxury to stop and smell the roses or take control of their lives. For some, the passing of time is grinding – every tick on the clock a hard blow to their being. If they could, they’d choose in-existence. For others whose lives haven’t been eclipsed by sorrow, they may feel that they could live for an eternity.  Regardless, we all march on towards the end of our days – a path we’ve been marching on since the day we were born. Along the way, we come to terms that we’ll have to leave the earth behind, including everyone we know and love upon it. With great pain, we accept this as a fact of life. But that inevitability of death doesn’t stop us from trying to delay its clutches through medical advancements – we fight against that dimming light.

The Immensity of Immortality – Time Goes on

Death stamps the meaning onto life. It places a finishing line at the end of our journey. It reminds us that nothing lasts forever. While this gives us a sense of urgency, it also makes us prone to regret – especially when the end nears. We begin to ponder on what we could’ve done better if only we had our life to live again. If only we could bottle this feeling and sip on it throughout life. We’d cherish life all the more. We’d visit bedridden relatives or friends instead of wishing we had at the funeral service. It was written in the novel “The Fault in Our Stars” that “Funerals, I decided, are not for the dead – they are for the living.” The art of living is not complicated. To spend time with the people and pets, we love and make the best of every single day.

Art Imitates Life

The cycle of life is art played out over time. I reflect this connection in my cosmic art prints. Once 50 prints of each of my creations have been purchased – I destroy their blueprint. Their fate is sealed from the moment they’re created. Like humans, each artwork is crafted with an innate mission. I don’t reserve them for any gallery or museum. Instead, I send them out into the world to carry on their legacy. My celestial art prints are made with top-notched materials so they can stay longer and be a source of inspiration to more people. Unlike pop art which will evaporate into thin air when the tides turn, my fine art prints will billow in my collectors’ home in the years to come. I hope my collectors can treasure these limited-edition prints and appreciate the messages behind each piece.

Check out the art print “Billowing Magnificence” & the video “Billowing Magnificence”

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