Japan Art and Blossoming of Life Before the Leaves Fall: Tranströmer and Buddhism

Japan Art and Blossoming of Life Before the Leaves Fall: Tranströmer and Buddhism

Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Sawako Utsumi is a contemporary Japanese artist who hails from northern Japan. Utsumi often focuses on various aspects of religion and nature – even when paying homage to past artists before she creates individual angles.

Utsumi’s latest art piece is titled: “The Blossoming of Life Before the Leaves Fall.” This is based on ideas outside the singular dimension of the art piece when viewing. Therefore, it connects naturally with “The Blossoming of Life Before the Shadow.”

The artist said: “The shadow of death is only a moment away when considering the age of this universe. Hence, some people find solace in religion, others in nature, others in a fusion of both, and many see nothingness apart from this brief time of existence!”

Tomas Gösta Tranströmer (1931-2015) wrote, “In the green midnight at the nightingale’s northern limit. Heavy leaves hang in trance, the deaf cars race towards the neon-line. The nightingale’s voice rises without wavering to the side, it is as penetrating as a cock-crow, but beautiful and free of vanity. I was in prison and it visited me. I was sick and it visited me. I didn’t notice it then, but I do now. Time streams down from the sun and the moon and into all the tick-tock-thankful clocks. But right here there is no time. Only the nightingale’s voice, the raw resonant notes that whet the night sky’s gleaming scythe.”

Interestingly, in her latest art piece, a more misty and atmospheric feeling exists – rather than in the second art piece in this article.

In a sense, as Tomas Gösta Tranströmer wrote in another poem: it feels like “The eager light streams out, even the ghosts take a draught.”

The Buddhist monk Nichiren said: “We ordinary people can see neither our own eyelashes, which are so close – nor the heavens in the distance.”

This connects delightfully with the art piece above – where a Buddhist monk is walking in the vastness of nature during the cold winter period. Accordingly, the mystery of life, nature, and the falling leaves fuse spiritually during the moment of “witness” – even if nothingness exists or “even the ghosts take a draught.”

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-blossoming-of-life-before-the-leaves-fall-sawako-utsumi.html The Blossoming of Life before the Leaves Fall

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-blossoming-of-life-before-the-shadow-sawako-utsumi.html – The Blossoming of Life before the Shadow by Sawako Utsumi

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sawako-utsumi.html – Sawako Utsumi and where you can buy her art, postcards, bags, and other products. Also, individuals can contact her for individual requests.


Tomas Gösta Tranströmer – (translated from Swedish by Robin Fulton – first quote)

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http://sawakoart.com – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist

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