I have been issued a challenge by Joan Zimmerman to complete 100 tiny art works, after Yosa Buson‘s “100.” I accept the challenge. This refers to haiku poet Buson’s well-known project to complete 10 haiku poems per day, for a hundred days.* However, Zimmerman has suggested that I do one tiny art work per day, for one hundred days, starting on October 31, Halloween (and I’m happy to oblige). It should be said that Buson was also a visual artist: a painter — and so this seems especially appropriate.
I will be creating these pieces (which can be painting and/or collage) on a set of blank cards (3 x 3 in.) on a ring, which is produced by Myndology. I’d already been using Myndology cards as a tiny sketchbook; however I have not come near doing 100 works. And in this case, I will be starting anew, with No. 1, today. The cards come as 75 in one set, but because they are on a ring, with room to spare, it’ll be easy to add another 25. Acrylic paint, ink, and glue adhere to the card stock very well, by the way.
I will not be posting these online one-a-day; the point is to just do the work — not to gather views and likes; I may, now and then, however, post a few of the works in a group. Also, in the spirit of Buson, my intent is to create works that are simple, and not detailed or overdone – and keeping in mind (but not doggedly so) the Japanese aesthetic ideals of sabi, wabi, yugen, and aware. Here is a haiku written by Buson back during his heyday, the Edo period (1603-1867). I picked the bat poem because it’s Halloween!
A bat flits
above the plum blossoms.
Translated by Robert Hass
Have you ever done a writing or art project like this? You are welcome to join me, if you’d like. Let me know if you do…
*btw, Buson never completed his project!