Thursday, June 03, 2010

Endangered art

"The applied arts are a cornerstone of our heritage "

I am a realist and don't dabble in abstraction much. However, it sometimes it becomes part of me, part of what has gone before.  I've been reading about various forms of Japanese art to wrap my brain around gyotaku and help me understand the culture of art there.  This little piece is my hurried attempt at suminagashi late at night.

Suminagashi is a Japanese form of marblizing paper and translates literally as 'ink floating'.  Its a very simple technique that has been taken to a high level of expertise and beauty in patterns.  Marbled paper isn't seen as often today as it was years ago and the number of artists who create it or mentor others into the technique are few.

Several art forms are endangered, suminagashi is one of them.  Gyotaku is reviving slowly and advancing in the Western world.  It seems that the current society of instant gratification needs do not want to spend the time to learn skills that have time attached to the end result.  Engraving and printmaking are in danger of being over ridden by machines that can produce similar results. 

This quote, from HH magazine, even though around watchmaking - another endangered art form - really applies to all forms of art that involve specific techniques that are produced by hand.

Speaking at a study day organised by the Société Suisse de Chronométrie (SSC) on the theme "Watchmaking and its Artists," Estelle Fallet, curator at the Musée de l’Horlogerie et de l’Émaillerie in Geneva, insisted on the vital importance of the craftsman’s hand in the watchmaking segment. "The applied arts are one of the cornerstones of our cultural heritage. They are heir to a multitude of expertises that have been developed and painstakingly transmitted throughout the centuries. Their history is a nurturing source of inspiration which enables them to embrace contemporary artistic currents. They add to a heritage which they also safeguard, through restoration work. Synonymous with perfection, these arts are a combination of gestures drawn from tradition and new technologies that are a prolongation of the human hand. They transform an ordinary object into a masterpiece. Materials are ennobled at their touch.


A Brush with Color said...

That is just stunning--I love the colors, but it just looks like it's floating on the paper, too, Jeanette. Lovely!

Y said...

That's beautiful, Jeanette. Makes me want to learn more about Suminagashi.

Margaret Ryall said...

I've always been interested in marbleizing paper and I've tried it several times over the years. I've never heard of the Japanese term suminagashi. Thanks for extending my education. I love the result of your experiment.

Olivia said...

Beautiful intuitive painting ! i love it.