Me, PhD Arts & TAM
Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
University of Antwerp
TAM is a combination of art, science, and meditation.
The artistic experimentation of TAM is art for the sake of art.
However, the results of artistic research are really for the betterment of humanity—
stimulation of creative capabilities as experiential wellbeing.
Applicant: Buddhaporn Srisupawat
Application: PhD Arts for 2023 Intake
Title: Transformative Abstract-Visual Meditation (TAM): Stimulating Creativity with Art for Wellbeing
Research Centre: Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp/ Centre for Philosophical Psychology/ ARIA
Research Group: Thinking Tools
Theme: Art and Meditation for Wellbeing
Field: An interdisciplinary study combining Contemporary Art, Aesthetic, Visual Communication, and Wellbeing
Prof. Dr. Steven Humblet: Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp I Chair of Thinking Tools Research Group
(Photographic and filmic representation of city and countryside; Photo History; Art critic and published articles on photography, fashion, contemporary and Asian art at at De Financieel-Economische Tijd, and De Witte Raaf and Camera Austria)
Prof. Nancy Bence: Centre for Philosophical Psychology
(Aesthetics; Perception; Philosophy of Creativity; Attention; Humanities and the Arts; Emotion and mental imagery; Understanding Self-Deception; Seeing things you don't see)
Prof. Bruffaerts Rose: Experimental Neurobiology Unit (ENU)
(Neuroimaging and neurophysiology expertise in human participants; Psychology and cognitive sciences; Imagination; Understanding of consciousness; Emotive Theory of Action; From Theory of Mind to Vicarious Perception)
Qualifications, Passion & Motivation:
Art is my soul,
Design is my breath,
and Media is my life.
The nexus of my academic background with three degrees in media fields, my 20-year work experience in media production, together with my 20-year academic profession at American universities, trigger an epiphany that art, design, and media have embedded, engaged, and extended my life’s experiences.
Reasons to choose University of Antwerp:
I endeavour to complete the doctoral degree in Arts specifically at University of Antwerp due to:
Prestigious world ranking university: within the range of top 223 on current QS global rankings
Perceptive interdisciplinary studies of visual arts, humanities, social science, and innovation through art-based research: perfect combinations of creativity and validity
Intensive research training in Visual Arts for high academic standards and research impacts
The doctoral study in Arts/ Arts & Social Sciences will provide me with the skills and insight to mentor others in creative and transformative experiences and thereby contribute further to the body of knowledge so critical to the understanding of the interconnections between Art and Human Wellbeing. The fulfillment of a PhD in Arts/ Arts & Social Sciences is not just for the sake of my own growth but for the greater good of others, as well.
Abstract Photographic Artwork
inspired to apply on TAM project,
demonstrating on form became formless
Series: Transformative Abstraction
The study of Fork:
Artistic Experimentation on TAM project,
envisaging the interconnections between
physical perception and mind awareness
by using macro photography
with in-camera practice
Series: Transformative Abstraction
Photographer: Buddhaporn Srisupawat
When abstraction, minimalism, and photo-videography are fused, they amazingly create phenomenal art forms in terms of simplicity, beauty, transcendence as well as endless imagination. Inspired by abstract minimal art and motivated by art for wellbeing, this empirical study will use triplet series of abstract photo and video art as visual meditations in an attempt to experimentally boost wellbeing through a process coined Transformative Abstract-Visual Meditation (TAM).
The main theme of the triptych visual abstraction will be epitomised as three stages of mind perception - unconsciousness (figurative long shot), consciousness (figurative close up), and semi subconsciousness (abstract extreme close up). The artistic research will investigate the stimulating impacts of these figurative/abstract transformations with different colour characteristics, blurry effects, along with sequential orders. The experiments will mainly rely on macro photography with in-camera practices and physical variables to achieve different kinds of formative shapes, from form to formless.
The outcome of TAM is to examine the positive impact of stimuli for creative capabilities through experimental wellbeing. Sixty (Thai or Belgian) high school/ college students will be recruited to participate in this empirical study based on phenomenology and art-based expression. In addition, it will clarify whether colour styles, blurry effects, or sequential orders have the most and least impacts on creativity as the main theme of experiential wellbeing.
Objectives & Rationales:
To extend the body of knowledge about Abstract Art for Wellbeing. TAM will underpin the use of photographic abstract art form through meditational integration in a different setting, stimuli, and approach from the previous study by Nielsen et al. (2017) on visual art for wellbeing generator in the Denmark hospitals with 98 patients via mix-methods.
To allow participants to creatively experiment with photo-video art forms as the interconnections between physical perception and mind awareness. Inspired by abstract paintings (Kandinsky, Mondrian, Rothko, and Pollock), abstract photos (Strand, Cunningham, and Leiter) and abstract video art (Rythmus 21, Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi), TAM will contribute the transformative visualizations; not only from figurative to abstract, but from formalism (form) to expressionism (formless) in terms of simplicity, beauty, and transcendence.
To promote better mental health in an educational institution. TAM could be applied to instill creative mind-sets among students coping with anxiety, stress, and COVID-19 pandemic impacts as well as stimulate creative capabilities among students on a regular basis.
Thai teenagers are the main casualties of suicide (Mala & Wipatayotin, 2019). Thailand experienced a 22% increase in suicidal rates last year (Bangkok Post, 2021; Thai PBS World, 2020) and was ranked number 1 in ASEAN and 32 in the world for suicide (The Thaiger & The Nation, 2020) with overall increasing suicidal rates within recent three years (Department of Health, Thailand, 2020) resonating critical mental health issues. indicating serious mental health issues. Positive mental health and creative mind-set are key factors to avoid committing suicide, as divergent thinking could reduce mental health symptoms (A. Beckstein, Sept, 15, 2021, personal communication).
Similar to Thailand, Belgium adolescents also experienced mental health symptoms up to 16.3% or 1 in every 6 teenager (Jong, 2022) and 17.9 % or 1 in every 5 suffered with depression during COVID-19 (Wauters et al., 2022). Besides, suicide is the foremost cause of death among teenagers aged 15-24 years with 30% of male and 23% of female deaths (For a healthy Belgium, 2022). As several research verifications, art programs for teenagers have been proven to boost mental health in terms of stimulating motivation, self-esteem and positive thinking (Duncan, n.d.; Wright et al., 2013).
Therefore, TAM collaborated with University of Antwerp could extend to the international impacts by leveraging art-based research to make a difference – re-examining, resolving or relieving – on the specific critical mental health issues in Thailand. Alternatively, TAM could be beneficial among Flemish juveniles to reinforce the national policy of mental health and wellbeing promotion determining to enhance wellbeing and resilience in individuals, communities and organisations after Post COVID.
Two experimental case studies will be used to investigate on students’ wellbeing in relation to their artistic experiences along with visual art as meditation from art expression and phenomenology using mixed-methods via an onsite photo-video art exhibition.
Study 1 will use a quantitative approach to examine which visual stimuli (colour characteristics, blurry effects, or juxtaposition) will stimulate creativity.
Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), as a popular creativity test with respectable reliability and validity (Ball, 1980), will be used to assess creative capabilities.
Study 2 will use a qualitative approach using selected favourable Transformative Abstract Videos (converted from photos to be photo slide shows as video clips) in order to re-examine how effective the aforementioned factors will be on creative capabilities.
The artistic experiences gained from TAM could unveil further insight into the creative capabilities which cannot be measured by the TTCT from Study 1. The qualitative approach therefore will be employed by the following:
Viewing visual stimuli with or without Visual Meditation
Art intervention as art-based expression
IRB approval will be mandatory as the study uses human participant.
Goal & Expectation:
The ultimate outcome of this study is to explore if the utilisation of TAM will have a positive impact on creative capabilities. In addition, this artistic research will also identify which factor (colour styles, blurry effects or sequential juxtapositions) has the most and least impact on creativity as the main theme of the wellbeing experience.
Besides, the body knowledge from TAM could be disseminated via serial publications with tentative titles such as: Psychedelic Colours as Creative Stimulation, Ambiguity as a Creative Stimulation, and Juxtapositions as Creative Stimulation. The artwork of TAM served as the visual stimuli could be also presented through exhibitions.
At least, the outcomes could introduce the abstract art meditation as a self-art therapy to practice on a daily basis like ‘a (visual) meditation a day keeps the psychologist away’.