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Posts Tagged ‘Matsuo Basho’

Paul Gauguin: “In every country I have to go through a period of incubation; each time I have to learn to recognize the various species of plants and trees, of all nature, so varied and capricious, never willing to give away its secrets, to yield itself up.”  I feel the same way … for me, the weather, the soil, the river needs to feel like second nature … that my life is in “tune” with my surroundings. Texas is a separate “country” … so different from California. We are going, each morning, to the State parks on the Rio Grande River to see the native plants, birds and butterflies.  The names are great: Cenizo – Mexican olive tree  – Huisache tree.  We shall learn their names, learn their habits, soak in the ambiance of this desert valley located on a river, the Rio Grande River.

As I walk thru the campus a loud buzzing arises from the trees … it gets louder … louder.  I look up … around … No one else notices the background noise so I ask a woman “Do you live here ?”  She nods.  “What is making this buzzing, scraping, sound ?”  She smiles and says ; “It is the cicada – at this time of year – (early Sept) – they hatch, produce this sound, mate, and die.”   I thank her, sit on a bench in the hot, humid air, and wonder – and then at the MFA orientation Josie de la Tejera states that her entire art work is based on the cicada.  She shows us slides of the insect … it grows for 17 years in the ground before emerging.  She compares it to a teenager who emerges from childhood.

The work refers to a poem by Matsuo Basho.
A cicada shell
it sang itself
utterly away

Black Cicada

Black Cicada

Black Cicada, represent it singing itself to death, hence the black color.

Cicada Shell

Cicada Shell

Cicada Shell is an image of the shell left after the cicada molts and flies away to live its remaining few days.

Cicada Transformation

Cicada Transformation

Cicada Transformation is representation of life changes and stages, similar to the cicada molting its shell to transform into a new being.

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