Tuesday, September 20, 2016

the little grape's big dream

The poetry of Naoko Kudo (mentioned briefly in my last post) has inspired a lot of my etegami recently, both directly and indirectly. This etegami is of the indirect variety, and though I hate long blog posts, it needs a bit of explanation.

It was inspired by the poem titled Yama-budou no yume (literally: "dreams of the mountain-grapes," except that yama-budou aren't really grapes at all. You can learn more about this plant at this link: Vitis coignetiae).

The poem describes the young berries as they discuss what they want to be when they grow up. One says "a muscat grape" and another "a concord grape," but then the dreams start getting weird. One says he wants to grow up to be a marble, and another excitedly says "When I grow up, I'm going to be the full moon!!"

I was thinking about this poem the other day as I was watching an odd-looking ship approach Ishikari port in the far distance from the wood deck of my studio in Atsuta. I had never actually seen a ship of this type before, but I recognized it at once from a very peculiar conversation I'd had with a gnomish electrician from Atsuta village just a few days earlier. I plan to use that electrician in an etegami some day, but that's another story.

Anyway, I recognized the ship as a liquefied natural gas carrier. And my next thought was that the tanks looked like huge grapes. From there, my thoughts went to the poem, and I began to imagine a tiny mountain-grape with the huge and totally irrational dream of growing up to become an LNG tank. Thus the etegami was born.

I tore the etegami image of the LNG carrier out of the washi card I had painted it on, and glued it onto a patch of dark blue paper cut out of an old paper bag, to give it the look of the sea.

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