japonisme: 5/16/10 - 5/23/10

20 May 2010

chinese dancers

i have been keeping something from you. but first... it's always wonderful to be discovered by someone with a blog that makes you, well, swoon. post after post in this woman's blog, poetic oneirism, somehow make you want to use the word utterly. then, when i came across this post, with this photo, i gasped.

for what i have been keeping from you is one of my favorite artists, elyse ashe lord. sure, her images feature all of the elements of japonisme, but, almost idiosyncratically, the people she features are chinese! sort of. from what i know, she never actually went to the orient, but there is something about her somewhat fantastical versions that delight me. and thus, when i saw that photo i thought immediately of this series of lord's.


the Guests Were Li Chiu-ho, Ma Nan-yeh, Wei Tung-kao, Li Hu-ch'uan, Huang K'ung-ts'un, Li Lung-t'ang, and Hu Hu-shan

Singing, dancing—handsome actors entertain;
guests have been invited to the courtyard.
The singers' mats hold the setting sun;
the dancers' sleeves flap in the east wind.

Lakeside willows—this smoky mist is hard to prohibit!
Flowering peach—a fire burning red by itself!
Village women come to ride the swing;
when they're done kicking, their hair is a mess!

Li K'ai-hsien. Translated by Jonathan Chaves

ting jen's post on dancing is so full, that i needn't come up with much
on my own.


As I get older,
I like quiet sitting:
too many worries harm your soul.
My poems are not achieved by slaving at each word;
of all the emotions, serenity is best!

The perfumed steps are covered with flowers;
in blossoming trees: frequent songs of birds.
When the feeling comes, I dance and sing,
completely forgetting my head of white hair.

Wang Chiu-ssu. Translated by Jonathan Chaves.

ah yes.

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18 May 2010

dutchman in california?

just over a year ago i happened across a website for an artist who was new to me: arie zonneveld.

but i found the site incredibly frustrating because all you got were thumbnails, and most of those without the color.

then clive received a wonderful gift from gerrie in the netherlands -- larger zonneveld images! then i realized even more had been put on youtube! (also from gerrie?)

but the thing that struck me was so improbable i still don't understand it. why does this artist's work look like he came from california?!!

i had never even really considered the fact that there was a "california look," but somehow zonneveld's work reminded me of the work of three california artist of that same time: william rice, frances gearhart, and pedro de lemos.

this strikes me as so uncanny; even when painting in oils, there is a similarity. the choices of scene and the layout, the choices of manners of portraying trees, skies, shadows.

look at all of these flowers!

can you even pick out whose is whose?

even the choices of what flowers to paint; both places no doubt have poppies... but cactus flowers??!

gearhart and de lemos both studied with arthur wesley dow, and rice studied with howard pyle; i wouldn't be surprised if zonneveld had never heard of any of them.

are the landscapes similar, or the trees? was the look by then so ubiquitous that regional differences had evaporated?


and thus we are left with another mystery. but what would life be without regular mystery?

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