Mysterious and enigmatic, abstract and impenetrable, the Zen gardens of Kyoto are a product of enlightened and sophisticated culture whose aim was to transcend nature by means of a man made nature.
The empty space, the surrounding landscape and the frame of mind of the viewer are all part of the design. A design that transcends representation, meaning and ideology. A powerful idea distilled to simple ingredients, the evaporation of art as we know it.
The book is a collection of photographs I took and small poems I wrote during my journey to the Zen gardens of Kyoto. I felt it is impossible to untangle their mystery with the rational instrument of reason. It is a stream of visual and versed thoughts on the joyful occasion of simply being there.
Accompanying my photographs and poems are several short verses from Basho, Ryokan and other Zen poets. Their words have sometimes been modified to fit my own frame of mind, using their verses᠆ superior ability to express my own feelings.
This book is about the frame of mind and the geometry of calm that the Zen gardens of Kyoto represent. As there are no explanations on the walls of the gardens as to the meaning of the sand patterns, so is my book void of explanations and floats on a visual lotus, like an imaginary house.
This book is a photographic essay about the Zen gardens of Kyoto, designed specifically for the Kindle and features stunning, high-resolution photographs accompanied by small poems I wrote and small verses by Zen poets. It is crafted to create a calm space of the mind, a vision of tranquility and peace.
The title derives its name from an ongoing photographic chronicles I called “some kind of” project, of which Some Kind of Garden is the first volume.
It is a gorgeous Zen Book with Very Large Photographs and Very Small Poems.
I call these Zen Gardens the Geometry of Calm.
For me going to Kyoto was getting into the Zen space of the Mind. Japanese Zen Gardens have very little to do with Horticulture and a lot to do with sophisticated culture refined by the teachings and reflections of Zen Masters, whose sole focus had been to contemplate and distill reality to simple, vanishing abstractions.
Why some kind of? Some kind of is a larger body of work that started long time ago and contains Photographs, Video and Text. Some kind of is a thread that runs through all of my work and hops on various obsessions like one of those Stepping Stone Bridges in my book.
I went to Ultra Violet’s studio this past weekend to take photographs of her and her work. Ultra Violet said the first person she met off the boat ( arriving from France in the 60’s ) was Salvador Dali. She became his muse, and later on, became a muse to Andy Warhol and a superstar in his Factory.
This series for me is a collective reflection on the human condition. Behind the funny hats and painted faces are the anxieties we face in the 21 century – terrorism, global disaster threats like the Swine flu, freedom to choose partners, freedom to accept other people’s choices, the environmental Health of our Spaceship Earth, globalization, multiculturalism and the extinction of identity.
I will spend Christmas in the Netherlands again, although for a very short amount of time and afterward I am heading to Madrid to study at the Prado, mostly to look at Hieronymus Bosch work, hope it’s not travelling somewhere. Especially interested in The Garden of Earthly Delights, the museum site says it’s in room 56, so I’ll be there.
I felt the oppression embeded in the walls and the pain of the inprisoned ghosts, I wouldn’t say this was very attractive to me. I find it very strange this place is a tourist attraction.
Looking out of the rock and towards the beautiful city across the bay I can think of only one thing – how very priviliged we are to enjoy our freedoms and to enjoy the freedom to do the things we love.
I returned to the palace of Fine Arts to reshoot photographs I took a month earlier – back then I had wondered into the space by chance and didn’t carry a tripod… which resulted in grain and noise. I looked up the time stamps on the files and then googled for the sunset time for that day. Turned out besides sunset there are all these interesting terms associated with sunset data like Civil Twilight, Nautical Twilight and Astronomical twilight. According to the charts I had taken the picture (below) 20 minutes after sunset and 10 before civil twilight when wild things come out, obviously, beasts are partial to beautiful light.
Today sunset was around 7:30 pm so I waited 2o minutes for the twilight to set in and some amazing things happened during that time – a guy stood under the belly of the dome and sung with the most beautiful voice a song called “Salve Regina” … after that I lied to a couple of Tourists that the Palace was a part of a pre-earthquake bathhouse, absolutely not on purpose and out of sheer ignorance.
So Here it is San Francisco palace of Fine Arts – round Two: