KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random Recommendation: Kazuo Akasaki (artist)

[not kdrama related...
...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.


  1. OMG!!! i can't tell you how happy I am u decided to post on art! it's one of my hobbies too! i wouldnt say i'm completely interested in it but enough to buy books and stuff on it! so yeah, i'm really glad! and ive never heard of this artist so glad i know about him now.
    as for playful, yeah, it did take a step backward but the preview made me want to watch the next ep. perhaps it was the improvement of yesterday was so drastic i expected too much of today's ep... but i comfort myself in thinking it's still an improvement from last week's eps.

  2. Thanks! I will definitely be making more posts on fine art in the future, I'm sure. =) It's near and dear to my heart.

    As for our troublesome child Playful, you make a good point, I wonder if my expectations had been too high because Ep 3 was such a big leap in the right direction.

    I just hope the cliffhanger isn't a tease...I mean, obviously it IS a tease, but it had better not be another fantasy sequence of Oh HaNi's. =S

  3. wow, im surprised. u replied to all my comments. :) dun worry, i wont get used to it but im pleased nevertheless.

    lol. i dont think it's a tease. i mean it is a tease of seungjo but i dont think it's an imaginary sequence cuz

    in the tw drama and manga, it wasnt one. but they might have changed it since they did change some stuff around previously.

    but i would be so mad if that was an imaginary sequence. they did previews on imaginary sequences for you're beautiful as well. i wasnt too thrilled.

    yeah, i was hesitant about the fact that it was the Chuno team as well. im not saying Chuno is a bad drama but i thought it was overhyped. and yeah, the ending sucked cuz my dearie died. but ill check it out cuz i like the cast altho admittedly, like you, it's not "my kind" of drama.

    as for scandal, ur right, it's a happy place to be.. how can all the guys be SO hot... sjk and yai together are explosive but even the other extras are not bad looking. plus i love how the story is a bit more complicated than just a simple love story in traditional costumes, that but without making the political side too heavy for now (who knows later). and how LUCKY is park min young... she gets to hang around all those guys, two of them already half naked. and she gets saved by two guys at the end of that ep. i shouldnt be jealous. right, i shouldnt.

  4. plus, im kinda confused.. is SJK a noron? or not? cuz he hangs out with them but then, he is friend (or not?) with yoo ah in who is not a noron..
    and then, are norons the evil ones?

  5. lol. i watched music bank today.. and im going crazy.. i can't help but see playboy yong ha whenever i watch song joong ki and looks it's going to stay that way... my view has been altered completely by scandal. dunno if i should be happy or not about this. xd

  6. Since I'm going to ramble on and on and on about Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I just posted my reply in the Sungkyunkwan "First Impressions" comment thread! Hee.


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