looking back, I believe you liked to look at yourself on the canvas.
how much time you must have spent against the mirror admiring
the deep curves of your upper body, the shining reflections,
how light hit the contours and shadows
fell along the human places we call man.
you called your own body suitable for the brush,
to what still hangs above my head, no longer a white canvas,
the supple eggplant, deep purple, almost magenta
temples coming through reflected light.
it moves above me like a hallucination, a haunting intention,
innocent vegetable as man from shoulder to wrist.
painted next to me, wrapped around my body
the moment I realized a man cannot be everything
especially one who only knows how to paint himself.
This week, I had the pleasure of visiting a beautiful place in Florida called the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. I enjoyed taking pictures of the beauty and scenery along their winding pathways, while having the parallel experience of learning more about Japanese culture. Some of this beauty is soon to come in a future post!
I know I have never used this blog as an arena to share photos. However, I was struck by this place intensely, in particular by a timely exhibition they have open for viewing, Wendy Maruyama’s, Executive Order 9066. Below are photos I took from the exhibit.
The hanging tags that seem infinite in what you see represent the number of Japanese people of the United States taken from their homes and forcibly placed in internment camps during World War II. You can read Wendy Maruyama’s outlook on her work below. Her explanation and her personal sources of inspiration are much more telling than anything I can write here.
I share this as a visual truth for a violated group of people, the sheer number who were taken and for nothing they had personally done wrong. Her work is a message and a lesson for us all to be cautious of the assumptions we make and to step forward against voices of bigotry and its resulting injustice, especially when the source of that bigotry is irrational fear. History, sadly and easily, repeats itself again and again and we look back in disbelief at the wrongs we have committed. We must believe we are now better than those who came before us and move forward as stewards for rational, humane and compassionate thinking.
Happy New Year to all and may we continue into this year and the future ones to come with hearts full of love and understanding. Kate
For anyone fortunate enough to be nearby this exhibition, more information can be found at this link.