Buson’s “100”

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.


Yosa Buson self-portrait_WikiArt.org
Yosa Buson (Taniguchi) self-portrait. From WikiArt.org

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.

Myndology blank card "sketchbooks."
Myndology blank card “sketchbooks.”

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
in moonlight
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!