With romance, I felt pangs of love, yet never the passion that overcame my friends. But then I discovered art. I saw pure feelings, for the first time--nature expressed in a form I could understand. A painting was a translation of the language of my heart. My emotions were all there, but in a painting, a sculpture. I went to museum after museum, into the labyrinths of rooms and that of my old soul, and there they were: my feelings, and all of them natural, spontaneous, truthful, and free. My heart cavorted within shapes and shadows and splashes and patterns, repetitions, and abruptly ending lines. My soul shivered in tiny feathered strokes, one eyelash at a time. And so I began to collect art. This way, I was able to surround myself with the inexpressible, to exult in the souls of others. What a lifelong debt I owed to art!
I think that the power of art is the power to wake us up, strike us to our depths, change us. What are we searching for when we read a novel, see a film, listen to a piece of music? We are searching, through a work of art, for something that alters us, that we weren’t aware of before. We want to transform ourselves, just as Ovid’s masterwork [Metamorphosis] transformed me.
Both Tan and Lahiri describe the powerful impact of art. What effect does experiencing art have on you? Do you feel something similar or different when you're the one creating art? If so, how would you express it?