Another Sunday in Sydney, Just back from Sojourning the art scene in Japan and we are attending the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Well part of it. the Cockatoo Island venue. Susi, Steph and myself. This is a first Biennale in Sydney for me. yep I must be a snob or just don’t understand international art…..Help——. The venue was stunning….I have only lived in Balmain since 1975….and this is my first visit to the Island…..is there any Hope for me..? but a good Sunday afternoon experience. the art…MMMMmmmm…!!!……Ham wrap for lunch….MMMMmmmm……What I just loved were the Old industrial pieces scattered around the Island….bloody neat. I need to go back againg when all the art-lovers aren’t there falling over their programms and lovengly fondling their IPhones. Days end Susi and I attended a wonderful intimate Sufi performance- wonderful music another Sunday in Sydney.
Another catch up. Second last couple of day in Tokyo, We managed to visit the Very beautiful “Nezu Museum gallery and garden” Wow. as it looked like rain we wander the very extensive beautiful garden first…..just beautiful. lots of lovely carved Buddha statues, stupas. gates. sacred ancient pillars not forgetting the beautiful lakes, trees etc etc. just loved it. I think even better then most of the gardens I visited in Kyoto some years back. we spent ages enjoying this “state of the mind” coffee & cake in the very cute garden cafe…after which we waddled on into the Museum gallery…No Photos allowed inside…thats Life. lots of lovely old ceramics, bronzes. paintings. the two outstanding sculptures that I just loved were of the Buddha, one,a huge white marble statue of about 3mtrs. wow the shadow behind really reflected the setting Sun. very touching. the second was of a large seated stone Northern Whi dinasty statue, both very beautiful. this venue is worth the trek across town.
The second adventure was the Design Festa gallery’s annual international exhibition. Huge only on for two days…but full on for the two days there were supposed to be over 15.000 artists of some kind exhibiting here…MMMMmmm….. but wow, there were lots. an Art piece for anybody…..and I mean anybody. great entertainment continously on the main stage, we spent about 5hrs here. got lots of ideas from this Sojourn. on the way out of the complex there was the most wonderful Light show progected onto the venues building real wow stuff,
A few Photos, Enjoy.
A Catch Up, Yes back in OZ Land, So cold here but at least its not raining and tonight our first open fire of the winter season. adjusting to the early sunset and full moon so lots of little adjustments. not thinking about work as yet,,,,avoidence is good but it will catch up with me …soon.
So back to Japan. some years back I was in contact with the director of the “Bedroom Below” gallery based in Kanazawa in Western Japan about me exhibiting in his gallery. well we wrote back and forth over some years but neither of us could set a date for my show….Life as it is…..then out of the “blue” he wrote to me inviting me to be a part of a group Outsiders exhibiting in a gallery that he is associated with called “as Baku B” gallery in Kanazawa in early spring. good timing as Susi and I were going to Tokyo around this time. So frantically I conscired 7 images forth drew them up and took my art-life in my hands posting them express post with Australia Post. 10 days later they were there costing only about $35-Aust. my contact there Tomoya was delighted with what I had put together and sent them. I was one of 18 artists contributing. and my first time exhibiting in Japan as an Outsider artist. I felt very honoured. I could not attend the opening as I was having a solo show. Photo-installation at the Design Festa Gallery in Tokyo. Wow great two shows at the same time in Japan. and I sold at both…always a bonus. after my Tokyo commitments Susi and I traveled across to Kanazawa on the West coast by plane. 45 minutes away. stayed for one night only but did we pack it in….first day we visited Baku B gallery tucked away in a side street of the “Arty area” of Kanazawa. very- very nice two story gallery. quite new, built about 6 years ago. the lay out exhibition space very Japanese just beautiful. my 7 pieces were surperbly displayed, numbered and titled. they had translated my Bio into Japanese. a lot of professional labour went into this group Outsider exhibition. the staff member looking after the gallery was very warm and helpful. her name Megumi Nagahara. she too was an artist in her own right. she did wearable art. just wonderful. (see it at http://fancyfacttorymen.wix.com/megumi-nagahara ) The over-all exhibition was a mixed show the theme was—or brief was to creat art works based on the word “Tanbisuku” this is a coined word made up by a 3 year old child for no reason. So a good challenge for the little brain to get around….to have the vision of a 3 year old child….a first for me. very firtile grounds to rake gently over…..I am not going to comment here on other peoples art. that is for those who know the artists locally. they did have a little talk fest i was told on the contributors art on the opening night. wish I was there and understood what they were saying would have been Great but can’t be every where at once. I did tale lots of Photos of the artworks and gallery space. I could see myself having a solo show there sometime….a wait and see process. ( the word Baku = A Japanese Mythical being, an eater of bad dreams)
After visiting this gallery we wander off to our next destination a large park some 1 km away as we wandered along we came across the most wonderful shop specialising in Calligraphy supplies—-God I was in Arty-heaven….Wow, Wow, Wow. I have never seen so much wonderful great quality art stuff relating to Calligraphy….Wow. yep I could not resist—an A3 ream of white art paper lots of lovely Calligraphy brushes and other odd goodies. very happy. so we trunded up to huge part ajacent to the Castle….got there my feet were just warn out. I even had a huge ice-cream to see if this helped…no, even this did not help with my foot drama…Susi wander off by herself to enjoy the garden left me on a bench to enjoy the view….good time to catch up on journal writing. jotting down a couple of Poems. I am currently working on a small book of Poetry under the title of “Alleyways of Fes’ so enjoyed the 1hr of space. though I was asked several times to pose with local visitors to the park……I did ask for a donation of $100- per photo that I posed in …all thought I was joking….I bloody-well wasn’t, the joys of lack of translation …..
Overnight in a buisness style hotel in central city, Kanazawa. small room but nice, great mattresses to sleep on so great nights sleep. next day we planned on seeing at least 3 things or places’s. We ended up visiting one, the huge wonderful 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. very modern. very sheek, very approachable from many directions of emotion. each space within this huge Museum-gallery was set up purposelly for one exhibition or small series by the same artist. some of the exhibiting artist we were lucky enough to see and enjoy were Florian Claar, James Turrell (Blue Planet Sky). Michael Lin, Leandro Erlich (The Swimming Pool) Anish Kapoor (L’Origine du monde) and the huge several rooms of the Jananese artist Ay Tjoe Chhristine ” Spirituality and Allegory”. So at least 5 hours was spent here…including very yummy lunch in the gallery cafe. a stroll back down the arty streets of the local area. picked our bags up from the cloak room of our hotel. bus to airport. flight back to Tokyo.train etc…to bed midnight. another 2 days in Japan..
Cheer…some Photos. Enjoy
Tokyo Dreaming, Tokyo is a strange place to be afre Sydney, So quite, So clean and it does not have the bloody endless stream of noisy traffic that I am so accustomed too in Sydney. Do they have the answer that Sydney is looking for regarding its total traffic conjestion…???? the air here seems a little better…though I do worry this Easter capital is a little close to Nth Korea and their madness, just too close..MMMmmm…back to Sojourning…We visited a couple of lovely temples and lucky us just in time for a huge fire ritual ceremony and yep, you guessed No Photography allowed…we just had to take it in the old fashioned way, observe, sense, feel, love and enjoy, A great spiritual feeding. loved it.
As I was coming to Tokyo I decided to chase up a gallery to throw a small exhibition together as one does when you travel. I had some contact with people here several years back who suggested a couple of gallery to contact. So a day on the Mr Google and I had a gallery space booked. I chose the dates 7th-8th-9th, all good sacred numbers. I like to make the most of these work situations if possible. the gallery is the Design Festa Gallery Harajuku. lots of both small and larger spaces to hire. all looked after. nice people. Nigel from the UK and a young lady from Taiwan looked after me and my Photo installation for the 3 day show. opening night was well attended by both locals and travels on the hop. my first solo in Japan. just loved it. lots of hard work getting it all together but worth it. and I actually sold some art work….a bonus, always. the title of the show was “Tokyo Dreaming- Faces of the Rock Garden” A Photo-installation of images taken in the Nek Chand Rock Garden in Chandigarh Nth West India over some several visites. plus 3 small Wandjina totems. my guardians. my travelling companions, they are like fluid mandalas.always showing me the way gently back to my self. Again a very humbling experience to be showing–introducing the Great Outsider Nek Chands work to a new audience here in Tokyo. I would love to see a mini Rock Garden installed here in Japan in a lovely garden setting…..it will come I hope.
We visited lots of wonderful galleries, gardens, restaurants. shopping for hard to get “art stuff” I bought it by the hand full’s
…get it while you can is my mantra. my only grizzle….too much walking up steps….my feet are killing me. all in all a great time to be alive and with family in Japan. a few Photos. Enjoy.
Another Sojourn, In late January Susi suggested we travel to Japan together for a 2 week break from reality. Great idea. I was a little hesitant as the Fes Sojourn in June was my main focus for this year. but, hey throw caution to the zephyrs and just do it. Susi’s focus was her son Mike. and his family based in Tokyo. I needed to feed my art passion so said yep. lets do it. our Airbanb is a concret bunker but wow so close to the family based in Ebisu Tokyo and very central to lots of great restaurants. arty-stuff, transport. quite clean etc we were in Tokyo heaven. not forgetting the great little restaurant just down the street that sold very yummy flavoured cheery ice creams…….bodly needs are satisfyed here.
The flight over was uneventful. train into the city also, as Susi had done it many times before. I was still learning…. Our first event for the day. after dropping my heavey bags off was the annual piano performance by Susi’s two grandaughters Uta & Sora….very sweet. great performance by both but I am afraid lost on me after a 9hr +flight from Sydney as I think I slept through half of it….+ a little snoring…O Dear some were embarrassed by my little performance….. looking forward to the next event. A Great catch up dinner with the family then to bed for recovery sleep and lots of good relaxing dreams.
Infinity and Beyond. This process started way back in1997 when my spiritual teacher Dr Philip Groves took me aside at the end of a teaching class that he had just given. He drew a figure 8 (or Infinity symbol) on the white board and suggested that I do a Painting of it and ponder upon it….I assumed at the time it was given for me to get a better view of potentially what may be unfolding in my psyche or a work teaching that I should embrace. Lots to think deeply about here and hopefully make great discoveries.
Over the next 20 years I pondered upon this symbolof Infinity getting much out of it. but no real solid gains….just many little insights into the many layers of the self. I also did a very lovely painting of it. then in July 2017. I had the wonderful experience of travelling with Andrew & Maryanne Heslop up to Nth West India on a Himalayan jeep Sojourn. two weeks of a talk fest—loved it. during this Sojourn I told them of my receiving this Infinity project from our teacher. Andrew enjoyed hearing about my various attempts at unfolding its many layed contents. I asked if he would give a discours on this sacred symbol…..? He said yes. and the symbol came alive once more.
For my part of the process that was to unfold on our annual “Evening of Remembrance” for our beloved teacher Dr P Groves who passed away 19 years ago. I decided to do a very special meditative process of consciring a different figure 8s then writing as consciously as possible the sacred Tibetan mantra OM-MANI-PADME-HUM all around the outside of the 8 fold figure. I did manage to do 40 A3 drawings out of the 81 planned for this talk and solo exhibition. I will do the second half of this process later this year or early next year. I just need to see how things unfold during this very busy year.
The Discourse that Dr Andrew Heslop gave was very well presented and to the Point. a very great sharing of insights gained by him and shared to those who attended this process of “Infinity & Beyond “at the venue. the New church in Roseville Sydney on Sunday 26/3/2018. the solo exhibition was up for one day only and was very much enjoyed by those who attended the evenings process. yet another little unfolding of spiritual processes for me as I Sojourn into Eternity.
A few Photo to illustrate the process. Enjoy.
M jw 4/4/18
A tribute to the late Nek Chand (1924-2015) and what would have been his 93d Birthday on the 15th December. It’s two years since this great Outsider artist passed away. entering his Divine Kingdom of Sukrani. May he rest in peace surrounded by the Gods and Goddesses of this sacred spiritual walled garden that he visualised into existence and loved so dearly. He was a true visionary Outsider artist. A man who shared his heart through his great artistic vision. we are left with his vision in stone. metal. and roadside refuge all of which he transformed into magic pieces of sculpture for us to enjoy. appreciate and ponder upon as to its inner nature.
The Photo -images and totem installation that I have put together for this tribute were taken by me on many Sojourns through this visionary state called the Rock Garden. I also had the privilege to exhibit over 40 original drawing done by students from the local art college in Chandigarh. these Portriture drawings were done for a pop-up one day exhibition that I curated in the RG back in 2013. a very lovely collection of drawings of the great man which fitted in beautifully with this three day show at the Roselle School of Visual Arts here in Sydney from 15th to 17th December 2017.
This exhibition was partly a platform for my ongoing-unfolding “Dead Car Dreaming” process which started back in 2008 in the central desert of Australia. A Sojourn that a close friend and two aboriginal elders went on. our mission was to invite the elders who were the custodians of the Rainbow Serpent dance….we invited them to bring this sacred dance to the East coast and perform it in 2009. during this wonderful two week desert Sojourn I had many insights-visions-dreams-etc-etc thus this new process of “Dead Car Dreaming” was born and will continue unfolding for some time into my future….( I did have a solo show in Chandigarh during the anniversary celebrations in June this year where I had an installation of the totems. this is why they are in this show on faces)
A real pleasure to have had yet another exhibition focusing upon mainly Nek Chand and his great legacy left behind in this fantastic state called the “Rock Garden.”
Michael J Wright 20/12/17.