Last week’s horrific events in Japan hit me while I was sitting under our reproduction of Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. I spend a lot of time sitting under this piece of art and it takes up a big wall in our lounge. I saw it with fresh eyes. With one eye glued to Facebook to check on my Japan based friends and the another eye on the TV watching the news unfold.
Watching video footage of the earthquake I noticed how calm the people were. The sounds of voices talking, not screaming. People at their desks waiting for the earthquake to be over. Holding computer screens up. Not fearing for their lives. They do get a lot of earthquakes, but I don’t think that is it.
People have been questioning why there hasn’t been footage of looters in Japan. I am embarrassed that our society has come to expect looters to arise in tragedies. Some countries have been known to bring in military assistance to stop the looters. Not Japan. I really admire the Japanese zen.
When we visited Osaka a few years ago, we always felt completely safe. The people are private and polite. Honesty and orderly behaviour is the norm. My thoughts are with Japan right now and all the people that are suffering there because you can bet that they are.
The calmness and the sense of community that is expressed by the Japanese is really inspirational.
Over the weekend, I painted for the first time in years. Time passes so quickly and it baffles me that I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush in 3 years. I’ve been drawing and designing, but just not painting. Laziness is the number 1 contributing factor.
I will be exhibiting at the Japanese Art Festival at Aotea Centre in a few weeks and all weekend I had Japan on my mind as I painted. I’ve always loved Japanese culture and I had been planning 2 Japanese inspired pieces for several weeks. They’re not earthquake or wave themed paintings. That would just be too much.
I’ll post the paintings when they are finished. For now, it feels good to paint again.