I created a birthday greeting card, though this artwork can be purchased in various formats. The photo of sakura was taken near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The calligraphy I wrote last year, I think. It reads: お誕生日おめでとうございます。 which roughly translates into "happy birthday". Calligraphy is in Japanese kana majiri bun (仮名混じり文), which is a mixture of Chinese characters and Japanese kana.
九天 - heavens or skies; this word already appeared in ancient China. It literally means *nine skies*, where 9 stands for nine directions of the world. Centre was known as "great sky" (鈞天), the east as "dark blue sky" (蒼天), west as "clear sky", south as "fire sky" (炎天), south as "mysterious (black) sky" (変天), north-west as "hidden sky" (幽天), south-west as "crimson sky" (朱天), and south-east as "sunny (yang) sky" (陽天). These directions were closely related to the ancient believes, but also the political map of China. Another theory explains that the 九天 stands for 9 elements that the earth revolves around, those were sun and moon, 5 elements (water, metal, earth, wood, fire), the "fixed" star (possibly the North Star).
The alluring beauty of woman's body is subject that hants artists. Not sure if you knew this, but there are no straight lines in nature, everything is curved. Straight lines are an illusion. Our eyes are drawn to the harmony of arches and supple shapes. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Chinese calligraphy in cursive script, or even more so the Japanese kana script, are so greatly admired and appreciated. Those both worlds are a perfect match, and apmplify one another. Another thing is that photography and calligraphy are closely related arts, and I feel that I can express much more when using both medium to create art.
Early morning, I went to the beach today to shoot some aroma oils photos for a new project that I am working on with a Japanese artist, Snow Forest. Beach has one of the most simple landscapes, yet there is always so much to photograph. Shells, driftwood, sand patterns, waves, stones, and so on. So, I gathered a few pebles, and made a simple Zen sculpture. Then I added my calligraphy work to it in photoshop. 空心 - the void mind, or void heart, a heart which is filled with nothing but peace, harmony and nothingness of thoughts. Calligraphy in semi-cursive script.
I have been cooperating with the Japanese artist, Snow Forest, for a few years now, and this year we decided to take on another project. Some of you know Snow Forest from soap carving art, but she is also a certified aroma therapist. Snow is now preparing new line of aroma oils for her 6 weeks long exibition in an art gallery in Nagoya, Japan. If anyone is interested in the exhibition details please contact Snow Forest directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My part in the project is probably easy to guess, especially once you had a look at the photo below. I am desinging labels in Japanese calligraphy, and take photographs of ready-made oils. Each of the oils is unique, and all of them are hand-made from start to finish.
Label on the photo: 舞香 - dancing fragrance
I was writing some calligraphy works for Snow Forest's aroma therapy oil project, and when I created this calligraphy I realised that this is a perfect example for illustrating how does the calligraphy brush tip move during writing.
The magic of Chinese calligraphy is based on many factors, but one of the key elements is the mastery of the brush pressure control against the paper surface. This is especially visible in cursive script, which is very dynamic, and the line rapidly changes the direction or thickness.
Look at the remarks I made on the pictured single stroke calligraphy work, and note how much is happening from placing the brush on the paper surface to lifting the tip at the end. The brush tip is moving like an elevator, it goes up and down all the time, it also twists and turns, which moves are coordinated with the entire arm, as the wrist barely moves during writing. Those are microscopic movements, but the brush is held at its end of the axis, and the brush tip is at the opposite side. A tiny movement of the calligrapher's arm can cause massive alterations to the brush strokes. Those moves are subconscious, not thought out, and completely intuitive.
How does one achieve such coordination? Here is your answer.
My teacher was asked once by a student:
- Sensei, I cannot write with the hanging arm technique because my hand is shaking too much
to which he replied:
- It is not your hand that is shaking. Calm your mind, and the hand will follow.
That is right. Practice, practice, practice! I found out that writing with the hanging arm technique is improving my skills twice or even three times as fast. Natually, pillow hand and bucket palm, etc. should be taken into consideration during your studies, but hanging arm technique is the bread and butter of calligraphy studies. Do this with a small brush and it will be even more challenging.
間時要有喫緊的心思、忙処要有悠間的趣味 / hanging arm technique, small brush.
photo - Mt.Fuji post processed in photoshop
I have finally found the time to re-edit and put together my poetry, and I should be able to release the book this year, and to be more precise - this month. It will be a tome gathering all of my best poems written during the years 2007 - 2013., and it will be published under the Ryuurui's Art Studio banner. The book contains over 110 of my poems (c. 125 - 130 pages in A5 format), which are divided into three chapters: love, passion and frustration. You will also find there three of my new calligraphy works, which I will publish only in this very book. So, you will not find them online. I will make the book available in hard and electronic format, and, in time, it will be purchasable via Amazon and Barnes & Noble online stores. I will also create a book preview so one can have a peek inside before buying. This is the first publication out of four books that I would like to see published this year.
Below is a book cover project. Let me have your thoughts!
Ponte Ryuurui (品天龍涙)