A number of aspects of my research have influenced the images that I have created. They relate to what I have learned about Japanese art in general and Ukiyo-e woodblock prints in particular. Barrett summarises Berger’s analysis of ukiyo-e prints as “asymmetry, flatness of colors and design, simplification of line, stylization and decorative patterning” (Barrett 1993:102). I have also been influenced by my research of Aizuri woodblock prints and Surimono images and poetry.
I do not think that there is anything from the data gathering exercise that suggests new directions for my creative work.
Aizuri are monochrome blue and white woodblock prints and I noted in Assignment 2 the similarities I could see between these and cyanotypes (Coe 2020).
These are examples of Aizuri prints
Chrysanthemum, early 20th C, unknown artist
These are examples of some of my cyanotypes produced in response to my study of Aizuri.
Wisteria, Bamboo, Iris, Chrysanthemum
Surimono, literally ‘printed objects’ (Surimono from Osaka and Edo 2008) are woodblock prints that combine text and images. “The term surimono came to mean prints commissioned by groups for writing kyouka, comic poems, or haiku, 17 syllable poems, as well as prints privately commissioned for New Years greetings” They were often created by poetry societies who commissioned an artist to produce an image to accompany the text. The poems were usually kyoka, poems in a line form of 7, 5, 7, 5, 7 syllables or haiku with lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables (Surimono 2001).
I have been collaborating with a published poet to produce a modern version influenced by the concept of Surimono. They differ from the original in that the image came first and the poet responded to it. We have also not followed the strict rules of Kyoka or Haiku poetry but have produced an image that incorporates floral photograph and concise poetry.
Queen of the Night
My topic of significant importance is flowers and the threats they face. A major issue is the excessive use of pesticides (Goulson 2020). I have been experimenting with photographs, printing them and then spraying them with pesticide. While they don’t follow the Japanese naturalistic style of image, I believe that they evidence the influence of Japanese art in the “asymmetry, flatness of colors and design” that I quoted earlier from Barrett (1993:102).
Fritillary, Crocus, Geranium
Barrett, M. (1993) ‘Japonisme in the West’ In: Monumenta Nipponica 48 (1) pp.101–108.
Coe, R. (2020) Links to Creative Work. At: https://lightwriting.org/research/?p=82 (Accessed 09/07/2020).
Goulson, D. (2020) Reversing the Decline of Insects. At: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2020-07/Reversing%20the%20Decline%20of%20Insects%20Report%20-EMBARGO%2008.07.20%20%282%29.pdf
Surimono (2001) At: http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/s/surimono.htm (Accessed 09/07/2020).
Surimono from Osaka and Edo (2008) At: https://risdmuseum.org/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/surimono-osaka-and-edo (Accessed 09/07/2020).