Tara Sabharwal

●March 22 to April 8, 2008

「Light in a Labyrinth」

In preparation for my month-long residency at HISHIO in March 08, I perused the work of classic Japanese writers and artists, wondering if I might encounter the old, gracious Japan they described. In Katsuyama, in many significant ways, I did.

Thanks to Hiroko Dean and HISHIO staff my residency was comfortable, productive and successful. At my well-attended exhibition Opening, the slide-presentation opened up a dialogue with the audience, which was to continue over the month and in a short while – and over numerous delicious meals, hospitality and laughter- important relationships developed.

Shodosan, local artist and Zen priest, showed me how to make a woodcut and inspired me with the simple clarity of his resonant work, his wisdom and sparkling humor. I experimented with woodcut and Japanese brush painting, but more significantly, through the new medium, I explored what was for me a very different aesthetic: a new idea of beauty which included empty spaces, brevity with depth, a controlled spontaneity and the power of subtle suggestion, among other things.

Cultural know- how can, undoubtedly, be acquired from external sources, but that is not the same as knowledge, which requires an added process of self-examination. I recall the Buddha’s advise to us: ‘ do not follow my words until you have found within yourselves the truth of what they mean’. Living and working in HISHIO, I was able to search for a glimpse of the Japan within me. I thank HISHIO and its inspired family for this enduring experience.


Video・From Hishio