Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aesthetical Church

Mega churches are big. Many of them are like any other huge commercial for-rental conference rooms, which are filled with flipping seats and a big stage. What is lacking is obviously the aesthetics.

These huge buildings are 'practical', adopting the credo of any commercialized corporation: Efficient & effective. There is this one Roman Catholic parish, Church of St. Mary of the Angels, in Singapore which refuses such mundane mind-set. And their refusal conferred them with the President's Design Award, "highest recognition of exceptional people of this country, who have played a part not only in creating objects, images and spaces that have made lives more interesting and more comfortable, but have also trail-blazed our pursuit of excellence in design."

It would be wonderful if mega-churches pay more attention on aesthetics instead of more seats so that they can rent it out for corporations. But then again, it's up to individual church's ethos whether they want to emphasize the 'transcendence' (in this case, the aesthetics) or monetary returns.


Steven Sim said...

Jesus hanging in midair? Looks like a matrix scene...

Glad the rcc in sg preserve their artistic consciousness.

Steven Sim

Robin Teo said...

I am not sure whether modern or postmodern aesthetics like the one you posted can go too far where by the attention is drawn to the art piece itself rather than helping worshippers to focus on the work of Christ. I am not talking about RC churches having always to display on the crucified Christ. Gene Edward Veith did write and excellent point on this issue where by art serving the church should not go too far as to draw attention to itself but should help worshipper to reflect on the truths of the bible. The church you showed here while the architectural setting seems to be pleasant and well thought out, the almost abstract figure of Christ stands out, and almost seems to suggest a different interpretation, hanging midair without the cross. Good entry though.