Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kinkaku-ji: The Golden Pavillion

I'd love to tell you about my experience at Kinkaku-ji, (this goes for my experience in Japan as a whole as well) but for me words cannot truly describe what it means to experience what I have seen. But I'll do my best. Last semester I drew a picture of this temple for a project I did for one of my art classes but it wasn't until I was preparing for this trip that I realized I would be going there. This temple is positioned like a dream on the waters edge in the outskirts of Kyoto. Pictures really don't do the gold leafing on the temple justice, its most definitely something that must be seen in person to really be appreciated. All the temples here have a presence to them and the gold on this one only seems to heighten that quality. One thing about the architecture here that stands out to me is the amount of overlapping, converging, horizontal and vertical lines. For me, this makes sketching things out rather difficult. So I've realized that to represent things accurately I should try to draw them in layers, starting with what would be farthest into the picture plane. This makes trying to keep track of how how everything is laid out easier, for me at least. There's a sort of fusion and harmony between the modern and the traditional here in Japan that I don't see present anywhere else in the world. Being more concerned with the overall aesthetic in everything than the practicality. Which makes nearly everything art. Which makes for a very visual culture. And so, it is here I find myself in Japan. Visual culture, in context.

Here's a link to find out more about Japanese architecture.

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