...but totally worth dishing]
Imagery...that leaves an impression
Autumn may not be my favorite somber color on a kdrama, but it is my favorite season. I like warmth and light as much as the next person, but there is an enchanting seduction in the period of the year known as fall, where poetry is in the very mien of its name. Brisk air under ebbing sun, it is invigorating yet bittersweet. It calls for the end to summer, the return for Persephone to darkness, and rather appropriately, the herald of mother nature’s dead flags fallen to ground from trees. Spring can keep its flutter of cherry blossoms, for me, I will always prefer the sight of a beautiful open expanse filled with the vibrant collage of fallen leaves.
If you live in a area of the world that sees seasons, as I do, it’s apparent that the long days of hot summer are coming to a close. The first harvest leaf has yet to fall, but my eyes can’t wait for those reds, yellows and tangerines. That had me thinking about a talented leaf artist from Japan who’s name has stuck with me since I watched a PBS special on him years ago: Kazuo Akasaki. This highly regarded and award-winning enviro-visionary spends years drying colorful leaves which he later uses as the paint and brush for his beautifully evocative pieces.
I was dazzled by the visual emotion in his work, the intricacy and fine detail of his “leaf art.” Having a background in oil painting myself and having spent countless hours fighting with the blending of color, I was dumbfounded by his ability to extract color from what is essentially decayed plant organ…the level of commitment that must be required to build an entire canvas leaf vein by leaf vein. Amazingly, the leaves give astounding mimicry of carefree and blunt brush strokes. Akasaki uses his leaves and their somber hues of autumn to explore the melancholy in our world. And what color palette could be more poignant and natural than ones borne directly from the recycling of nature itself?
In a way, although not directly comparable, his work made me think of the whisks of color and rustling vibrancy of another nature-lover, the father of French Impressionism, Claude Monet. Here are a couple Monets that reminded:
From Akasaki’s lamenting Marcel Marceau portraits (first pictured, at the top) to his haunting images of rural life, there is a touch of cold, a whisper of bittersweet nostalgia, but always, a relationship between nature and humanity. His work is exceptional because of its novel medium, of course (although using leaves for art is an old tradition in Asia), but worth writing about because of the beauty in its delivery. Ah, what I would give to see his work in real life, other than tv and print!
Anyway, I’m posting this because his work seems the perfect complement to yet another fall come around.