Day of Remembrance: Ben Sakugochi

 

Ben Sakugochi. Post Cards from Camp: White Man's Neighbourhood. 16
Ben Sakugochi. Post Cards from Camp: White Man’s Neighbourhood. 16″ x 11″. Acrylic on Canvas.

I was in Los Angeles for the President’s Day weekend and was fortunate enough to catch the last day of Drawing the Line at the Japanese American National Museum, in Los Angeles, California. Drawing the Line was part of Pacific Standard Time – an unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, to bring together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months from October – April 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Los Angeles, can be pretty cool that way. The exhibition was a selection of the dynamic and diverse Japanese American contributions to the visual landscape of L.A. in the period following World War II. 

Two of my favorite artists were Ben Sakugochi and Qris Yamashita.

Ben Sakoguchi was born in 1938, in San Bernardino California.  During World War II, his family was incarcerated by the United States government because of their Japanese ancestry, so he spent his early childhood in an internment camp at Poston, Arizona.

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Another (short) Masterpiece from Studio Ghibli

 

As a long time fan of scroll books and Studio Ghibli, I am expectedly taken in by their latest short inspired by a 12th century manga called Chōjū-Jinbutsu-Giga Emaki, or Scrolls of Cartoons of Birds, Animals, and People. It is one of the first shorts produced for  Marubeni Power . The full short will air on April 1st, 2016. In the meantime enjoy 30 seconds of beauty.

The short was directed by Katsuya Kondo, character designer and animation director on Kiki’s Delivery Service and Ponyo, and producer Toshio Suzuki was the voice speaking the company name at the end. The background music is by acclaimed pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii and the tagline reads “There is a Japan I want to leave behind for future generations.”

Chōjū Giga, which depicted life as it was eight centuries ago through anthropomorphic animals, is recognized as one of the oldest known manga in the world. The emakimono, or handpainted, scrolls from which it originated are considered national treasures and can be found in the Tokyo and Kyoto National Museums.

Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata is a noted fan, alongside Hayao Miyazaki, and has written a book on emaki scrolls as well as drawing inspiration from them in making The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. Scholars continue to debate whether this or the Shigisan-Engi- emaki can be considered the first manga published.

Loving Vincent

Aditi Raychoudhury. Copy of Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. 1984? 1985?. Raurkela, Orissa. Gouache on Paper.

More than a hundred and sixty years ago, in this month, a man was born in the Dutch village of Groot-Zundert that may be best-known for being this man’s hometown.

This man was Vincent Van Gogh – the subject of continuing fascination for lovers and non-lovers of art, writers, movie-makers and movie-goers.. even scientists!

A tableau of flowers representing the face of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is revealed at Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A tableau of flowers representing the face of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is revealed at Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 2015.

 

 

The Eyes of Van Gogh by Alexander Barnett. 2005

 

Vincent and Theo by Robert Altman. 1990.

 

The unexpected math behind Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” by Natalya St. Clair and Avi Ofer. 2014

 

Aditi Raychoudhury. Copy of Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. 1984? 1985?. Raurkela, Orissa. Gouache on Paper.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Copy of Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. 1984? 1985?. Raurkela, Orissa. Gouache on Paper.
Study for "Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh (with Candles)". Chalk Pastels and Charcoal on Newsprint. 18" x 24".
Aditi Raychoudhury. Study for “Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh (with Candles)”. Chalk Pastels and Charcoal on Newsprint. 18″ x 24″.

A new animated movie, Loving Vincent, offers a fresh recreation of his life by painstakingly weaving oil paintings inspired by his work into an animated movie. This is the first fully painted feature film in the world, directed by Polish painter and director Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman (Oscar winner for producing “Peter and the Wolf”). The film is produced by Oscar-winning Studios Breakthru Films and Trademark Films.

Looks amazing, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to see it.

 

Forms in Nature

Forms in Nature by Chromosphere.

Stunning! By Chromosphere.

The Golden Calf (Return of the Goddess) by Nina Paley

Nina Paley. The Golden Calf (Return of the Goddess). 2015.

What more can I say, except that this is brilliant? Female Gods Rule, but, women… umm… not so much, even today!

125 years later, Van Gogh Still Fascinates Us

A tableau of flowers representing the face of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is revealed at Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

A tableau of flowers representing the face of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh is revealed at Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

“July 29, 2015, is the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death. This past spring I fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams by taking a trip to Europe to follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps. As a teenager I checked out every library book about Van Gogh, and eventually read the unabridged three-volume set of letters he wrote to his brother, Theo. With so much time having passed, I was eager to see if anything from Van Gogh’s time had survived. Could I stand where he did and still make out the fields he painted, or would I be standing in the center of an unrecognizable suburb or, worse, inside a shopping mall?”

Sounds familiar. Look at what Alex Roediger found. I was pleasantly surprised.

Other posts on Vincent Van Gogh

The Princesses I Love

Hayao Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli. Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa. Animation.

In this world inundated by princess who are waiting to be saved, I find Studio Ghibli’s “princesses” refreshingly different.

Hayao Miyazaki. Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa. Animation.
Hayao Miyazaki. Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa. Animation.
Isao Takahata for Studio Ghibli. Princess Kaguya. Animation.
Isao Takahata for Studio Ghibli. Princess Kaguya. Animation.

Free Your Mind, the Rest Will Follow

Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.

On a Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein, Illustrated by the Great Vladimir Radunsky

is a picture book about Einstein and charmingly illustrated by Vladimir Radunksy in watercolors and ink.

From spaceships and satellites, there is not a part of modern technology and science that his thinking hasn’t touched.

Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.
Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.

While he helped us understand the universe as no one ever had before, Einstein’s greatest legacy to us isn’t all the answers he bequeathed but all the open questions he left for today’s young minds.

Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.
Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.

Those young minds that are inherently full of wonder and curiosity, and best kept alive through unfettered play… music…

Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.
Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.

and, please, let’s not forget – ice-cream!

Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.
Vladimir Radunsky. On a Beam of Light. 2013. Paper, Watercolor, Ink.

Because, after all, it is  the thoroughly conscious ignorance and life’s little joys that keeps the child within us alive and is essential to our understanding of life.