Today I revisited Design Sight 21_21, the design exhibition space of the Issey Miyake Foundation, created by Issey Miyake and Tadeo Ando.
Tema Hima - the Art of Living in Tohoku, was exactly that. Film and exhibited objects described the traditional ways of sourcing food and tools that are being practiced in Tohoku, site of The Great East Japan Earthquake.
Visually fascinating, informative and an advocate for the inspirational quality of this way of living holding a key to future survival, this exhibition was exquisitely curated and absorbed my attention for several hours.
The artists and craftspeople who put this exhibition together believe that the future is potentially a dangerous place, and that to be knowledgable and capable of feeding yourself and local community is one kind of utopian space.
At the National Arts Centre, now celebrating it's 5th anniversary, were two special exhibitions: Cezanne, Paris - Provence, and 400 years of European Masterpieces from the State Hermitage Museum.
There was also a massive and well visited exhibition of local artists, the amateurs, as the staff apologetically described them. There seems to be no middle ground, you are famous, international, or nobody; this seems to be one of humanity's universal directions.
But maybe in their search for what it means to be Japanese, people here have not really bought-in to this notion of what it means to be famous; maybe the apology is merely thought appropriate for a foreigner like me.
I was certainly impressed by the scale of local talent which seemed both more international and more Japanese than last year.
And this year there appeared to be a selection of wheelchairs and baby buggies available for visitors to borrow, with even the possibility of a volunteer to do the pushing.
Nobody exhibits in the
National Art Centre.
Nobody has ten
with 5 metre
ceilings and 20
makes good space.
The Dawn Chorus seeps into my consciousness with liquid joy. Night brought sleep, so I open my eyes with a question.
These days play out on a yo-yo string, some are stretched out towards the promise of wholeness; some like this one are curled in on the pain. And waiting an unfocused kind of waiting, between moments that I try not to fritter away. Yesterday comes like that when I wedge myself against the garden wall and paint a long view. And later I watch the birthday flags waving from terracotta pots and take a rain check on chocolate layer-cake.
Days, moments, that leave no memories, just quiet folds in the chronological order of my life. Out on the pleated edges is where the sun shines and creation swirls; and where hope still has a cheeky smile.
I know of no way to acknowledge the value of hours devoted to breathing through pain; no way but waking and living. No way to honour love and life, but living; being; creating.
Sensuous lines swirl
white on white, kissed
by the glass walls
of my house; embraced
by the Nouveau frame.
Day by day, week by week,
pressed against the glass
while the sun rises
and a squillion snowflakes
dither and refrost.
Impatient for my
jewelled garden to emerge,
armfuls of silken narcissi,
fistfuls of fake muscari
into the waiting canvas.
Beardsley morphs into Mucha
waiting melts into spring.