'hai-ku' a traditional Japanese short form of poetry; 'ga' meaning image/painting.
Haiga are a traditional art form of Japan combining the poetry of Haiku with a painting, or, today, also photographs.
Simple as it may sound, there are onsiderations of aesthetic, context, and expression to be aware of in order to achieve a work that not only engages, but also stimulates the viewer to contemplate and/or expand their own experience of the world.
Brush Calligraphy in China and Japan has a long history and tradition as a tool for developing and practicing Mindfulness. Haiga, the, typically Japanese, combination of haiku poetry and image, point to an essence of a moment, an insight, the fleeting beauty of seasonal impermanence in nature. Yet, both Haiku and Haiga leave much open space for the viewer to engage out of their own context. Avoiding defined and fixed meanings and labels in the poetry and in the image allows the mind to just be and linger.
Our daily lives have become too rushed to support reflection and contemplation; the photographic moments, the selection of haiku, and the old style calligraphy script chosen for these works intend to encourage the viewer to slow down and experience a sense of serenity.
Contemplating art and learning to appreciate art can also foster more awareness, respect, and consideration for Nature and our fellow beings.
Not every haiga must achieve such lofty goal, of course; more often than not, I am happy with creating a work that is simply aesthetically pleasing and may visually enhance someone’s living space.
Yet, seeking to create works that capture the essence of the mind of haiku as well as the photographic essence of time and place in a timeless haiga, and that may, thus, effect people to tread more lightly and mindfully on this world, remains a most rewarding pursuit in my work.
As I am not a Haiku poet myself, I select traditional Japanese haiku, most by well known poets. In my attempt at keeping the tradition alive, I chose to brush the calligraphy in the old henteigana script style, which, along with the hiragana script, had been in use until 1900, when, officially, the more easily-to-learn hiragana script was chosen for everyday communication.
Please feel free to contact me in case of questions or comments. Thank you for your visit; please enjoy.
© peter vernon quenter - crimsonbamboo