‘What a strange thing! / to be alive / beneath cherry blossoms.’
Kobayashi Issa, “Poems”
In the ‘Empire of Signs’, Roland Barthes defines culture of Japan as a tension between visual and linguistic signs, or more precisely as a feeling of emptiness of meaning. French philosopher claimed that Far East thought indicate an anesthetization as a way of coping with the drama of human existence, thereby the significant role of visual culture in this part of Asia. In Japanese culture, process of painting is a kind of meditation on life; it is beautiful and fragile as an ephemeral charm of a cherry blossom branch.
When Japan was forced to open for western trade in 1854 after centuries of isolation, art from the land of the rising sun began appearing in Europe. The new language of art intrigued many artists because it was totally different to what they used to. Fascination of art turned into an interest in Zen Philosophy, which become inseparable part the Western thought.
|pecking order I|
|120 by 60cm. (48' x 24') |
|mixed; gesso,metal leaf on hessian|
|by Teresa Poole - more artworks, artist's CV|
|Beauty is only Shironurai|
|102 by 75cm. (40.8' x 30') |
|various papers, giclee prints, collaged acquisitions of digitally manipulated ukiyo-e images|
|by Michael Rafferty - more artworks, artist's CV|
|Japanese vase with bowl and plums|
|40 by 30cm. (16' x 12') |
|Acrylic on canvas|
|by Diane Urwin - more artworks, artist's CV|