Posts Tagged ‘photography’

A taste of Japan – through photos, haiku and food

July 7, 2016

Reminiscing, I decided to repost this haiku-photo collaboration from 2010. Sad to say that Ruriko, the owner of the cafe-gallery exhibit space, died of cancer a few years ago.

Note: Yokan is a winter citrus fruit. Also, I feel compelled to point out that my haiku have progressed since this time, and these older haiku have some problems, though I still like the yokan haiku and the collaboration with Jean-Pierre’s photos.

wild ink

Recently, Jean-Pierre Antonio, a friend who has lived and worked in Japan for over 20 years, asked me to write some haiku to accompany a series of photographs he took in Tokyo and Kyoto this past December. Usually my haiku is inspired by personal experience, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have any success trying to write in response to someone else’s photographs, but Jean-Pierre’s multiple images of  bright winter yokan fruit, calligraphic wisteria vines, and mysterious crows immediately evoked a strong feeling of place and mood, and the first haiku quickly took shape. Writing something to go with Jean-Pierre’s photos of young people engrossed in manga-reading and close-up sections of ancient fabric took a little more thought. To write about the fabric, I had to, in a sense, reach back across time to imagine what was going through the minds of the long-ago fabric artists…

The result of our collaboration is currently…

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The artful rusty tractor

July 30, 2012

My father-in-law has what you might call an en plein air tractor shop (or graveyard, depending on your point of view). Yesterday, in the low-angled sun of early evening, the rusting tractors seemed to speak of nostalgia for a disappearing way of life and, at the same time, to take on a new and different life through their wonderful colours, textures and shapes.

A taste of Japan – through photos, haiku and food

March 18, 2010

Recently [2010], Jean-Pierre Antonio, a friend who has lived and worked in Japan for over 20 years, asked me to write some haiku to accompany a series of photographs he took in Tokyo and Kyoto this past December. Usually my haiku is inspired by personal experience, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have any success trying to write in response to someone else’s photographs, but Jean-Pierre’s multiple images of bright winter yokan fruit, calligraphic wisteria vines, and mysterious crows immediately evoked a strong feeling of place and mood, and the first haiku quickly took shape. Writing something to go with Jean-Pierre’s photos of young people engrossed in manga-reading and close-up sections of ancient fabric took a little more thought. To write about the fabric, I had to, in a sense, reach back across time to imagine what was going through the minds of the long-ago fabric artists…

The result of our collaboration is currently on display at Sawa Tea Lounge and Gallery, 1538 W.  2nd Ave in Vancouver (near the entrance to Granville Island). Below are some images from the exhibit and the location:

(The blossoms were in full bloom in a courtyard space designed by Arthur Erickson and right beside Sawa.)

If you’re in Vancouver I hope you’ll stop by and check out the show (Sawa is a great place for lunch or tea!).

Note: this is Jean-Pierre’s third photo exhibit at Sawa. Click here for a blog post on a past exhibit.

Where do you stand on doors?

July 12, 2008

Photos of picturesque doors have become a bit of a chiche in recent years. There is even a Simpsons episode in which Bart and Lisa go antiquing with a new gay friend of Homer’s, and Bart photographs doors.

I admit that I too like to photograph doors. Perhaps it’s their mundaneness and, conversely, their universally symbolic quality. Doors are an ordinary part of everyday existence, but they can also imprison and hide secrets or they can open to freedom and new possibilities. They contain thresholds over which we may fear or yearn to step.

Here are some doors that caught my eye in Vancouver this past year:

And one more that I stumbled across when I was somewhat lost in East Vancouver recently: