Mandeville exhibit: Haiku + calligraphy = haiga

Ion Codrescu: Haiga Painting, an exhibition of a Japanese genre that mixes image and haiku, is on display at the Mandeville Gallery until Nov. 29th.

The show features 30 works by Codrescu, a Romanian-born poet, artist, essayist and educator.

“Composing a haiga painting is a way to emphasize the power and the content of haiku poetry because each word has the force of a brush stroke,” says Codrescu, who teaches: history of art, creativity in art and comparative art at the Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania.

Haiga poems and paintings are based on simple yet often profound observations of the everyday world. Common subjects range from the moon and rooftops to Mount Fuji, while styles vary greatly, from formal Kanō school influences to minimalist Zen painting.

“To juxtapose poetry and painting in the same space was a challenge for any artist living in ancient times,” says Codrescu. “Both for painting and poetry we need harmony, contrast, rhythm, accents, ideas, emotion, and expressiveness.”

Through this art form, he says, “I can make a bridge between the poet and the artist inside me.”

Codrescu’s poems, essays and articles have been published in 19 countries and 13 languages, and he has illustrated more than 100 books, magazines and newspapers. His ink drawings have been exhibited in Japan and throughout Europe, and his paintings are held in private collections and state museums in many countries.

He holds a Ph. D. in visual arts from the National University of Arts in Bucharest.

In the 1990s, Codrescu founded the Constanta Haiku Society of Romania, the international haiku journal Albatross, the Constanta International Haiku Festival and the Constanta National Haiku Conference. In 2004, he created the international haiku journal Hermitage.

The Mandeville Gallery exhibition is being held in conjunction with Haiku North America 2015.

Mandeville exhibit: Haiku + calligraphy = haiga


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