© Artwork by Roberto Alborghetti – Lacer/actions project

© Verses by Joshua Seller

(November, 2011)


No clouds

the wind revealed

in tall grasses


Nessuna nuvola

il vento rivelato

nelle erbe alte


Pas des nuages

le vent révélè

dans les hautes herbes


Ninguna nube

el viento revelado

en las hierbas altas


No clouds” is part of my collaboration with musician, producer and poet Joshua Sellers, from West Memphis (Arkansas, USA). Fusing Joshua ‘s words with my images – realistic pics of torn and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, scratches and urban signs – , we created a series of haiga: a combination of haiku and visual art.

Haiga is a style of Japanese painting based on the aesthetics of haikai, from which haiku poetry derives, which often accompanied such poems in a single piece. Like the poetic forms it accompanied, haiga was based on simple, yet often profound, observations of the everyday world. Stephen Addiss points out that “since they are both created with the same brush and ink, adding an image to a haiku poem was… a natural activity.”

Just as haiku often internally juxtapose two images, haiga may also contain a juxtaposition between the haiku itself and the art work. The art work does not necessarily directly represent the images presented in the haiku. Stylistically, haiga vary widely based on the preferences and training of the individual painter, but generally show influences of formal Kanō school painting, minimalist Zen painting, and Ōtsu-e, while sharing much of the aesthetic attitudes of the nanga tradition. Some were reproduced as woodblock prints. The subjects painted likewise vary widely, but are generally elements mentioned in the calligraphy, or poetic images which add meaning or depth to that expressed by the poem.


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