Whorls and Swirls

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Bush by Thomas DowningBush by Thomas Downing

Looking at the picture the viewer might first only see the colorful whorls and swirls the artist had depicted his notions with. Then the viewer out of curiosity will come closer attracted by the colorful concept and would want to further his knowledge of how the whorls and swirls would look up close.

The beauty of abstraction lies on the images that the viewer may perceive from the work of art. Dependent on the perspective with which he views the masterpiece is his discernment; he could interpret the images too through his mood when he took his assessments. 

The whorls have to start from somewhere, progressing along it will eventually culminate into its purpose. Colors come and go, here and there until the resulting work of art illustrates the artist’s mastery. Creations are initiated by an idea, feed by emotions and nurtured by longings, thus when it finally comes to fruition will be an exposition in its entirety, a BUSH?

Ferry Across the Rokugo River

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Ferry Across the Rokugo River (Torii Kiyonaga, 1752 to 1815)Ferry Across the Rokugo River (Torii Kiyonaga, 1752 to 1815)

Some say Torii Kiyonaga was the grand master of Ukiyo-e prints. He produced these using a series of carved wooden blocks, and intended them to decorate the homes of prosperous merchants. This picture is what is left of a set of three panels called a triptych. I do not know how or when the left hand panel went missing, but I know it was a great pity. I would have loved to see who else is in the boat.

Torii Kiyonaga lived at a time when Japanese people were obsessed with the minutiae of human life, including what went on behind closed doors. I prefer to ignore these aspects of his work, and focus on his social landscapes such as this one instead.

He introduced a less formal style of painting, and was especially interested in the female form as depicted here. His deep sensuous tones contrasted by delicate shades are almost extraordinary for his times. I find the delicate expression of the horizon in the background quite superb. It is as if he wished he were a young boy set free to go fishing and climbing mountains again.

Red Dress and Lotuses

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Lotus Song by Liu YuqiLotus Song by Liu Yuqi

A Chinese young woman clad in a floor length red cheongsam adorned with a scattering s of Lotuses sits majestically with her two hands in Gyan Mudra. She stares out candidly with so much trust and so perfectly painted that the picture seems to be a live photograph.

A picture’s candidness stems from what?

The eyes, skin textures and intensity of colors will always expose the true nature of a picture. Pigmentations and grains will always bare concealed essentials; paintings and photographs will always have that uncanny telltale variance that would always let you know if it’s a photograph or a work of art.

The red lotuses on the dress and on the wallpaper background connote sentiments the artist possesses and would only dare to bare through his artwork. The artist being male; his propensity of portraying beautiful women certainly demonstrates his appreciation of women’s magnificence and wisdom.

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