Thursday, July 30, 2009

detach yourself, sense life

When the August issue of Etegami Magazine arrived a few days ago, I realized I had forgotten to blog about the July issue. But I am forced to press ahead. There are so many interesting things to draw these days, and so many topics I still want to write about on the subject of etegami. The title of the August issue was "Sense Life and Draw with Detachment." [I'm still not clear on what I'm supposed to be detached from. Distractions? Expectations? The desire to excel?] But I suppose another way of translating it would be: Be focused.

The drawings that drew my attention were the ones you would expect in this season of growing things. Flowers in full bloom and newly harvested vegetables. Yes, I could sense the life in these things. They were fairly bursting with it. Then I looked through the pictures again. Drawings of home life. A school bag tossed in the corner of the room. A tiny girl carrying her baby sister (almost as big as she is) on her back. A pair of knitting needles and a half-finished woolen scarf. They were more subtle, and I had to listen harder, but I sensed life in them as well-- maybe more powerfully than the drawings of the flowers and summer harvest. It was an intriguing discovery. The evidence of life is everywhere, not just in the most obvious places. In fact, the August issue announced an etegami exhibit on the subject of war memories. Life was powerfully present in these drawings too. Even in the burning house and the white cloth-wrapped cremation urn. I'll tell you more about this exhibit in my next post.


  1. I would love to see some of the war memories etegame, especially as I have just finished interviewing an 89-yr-old woman about her war memories. What an odd subject for etegami, and yet how poignant and thoughtful the art must be.

  2. I'll blog the exhibit info soon. August is the month that people in Japan particularly reflect on the war. You'll see that it isn't an odd subject for etegami at all. The exhibit isn't until September, but I'll see if I can find digital samples of the submissions to post here.