Sunday, August 13, 2006

Puppet Ningyo - unfinished work

This weekend I had the privilege to see many of the puppet stop animation work of Kihachiro Kawamoto as a part of the Brisbane International Film Festival. The highlight for me was undoubtedly his recent master piece "The Book of the Dead" based on the story by the noted Japanese folklorist Shinobu Orikuchi (1887-1953) set in the Nara period around the 8th century Japan. Midnight Eye has a good interview with him about the film, click here.

Kawamoto was present for both screening sessions and gave extended Q&A at the end of both. Listening to him reminded me of my earlier ambitions of creating a puppet production based upon the classical Japanese poetry/literature of the Tale of Ise. While this project remains a castle in the clouds, my love of Asian literature, folklore and mythology remain - see my other blog Crackle Mountain. Pictured here is the first marionette puppet I began. She has arms and feet made of air drying clay. Her body is of knit fabric and her luxuriously long black hair (in Heian style) is made of Perl embroidery thread. The under kimono she wears is made as a true kimono would be. You can see she still has pins to keep the kimono in place while she waits for further work.

She waits very patiently indeed.


panthergirl said...

How interesting! What beautiful work. You've got some great stuff here!

Here via michele, I believe for the first time.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me to your distant shores, Florence. Hi!

My boss is a surgeon and she's about to hire a research post-doc. The reason I mention this is that both these professions, medicine and science research are very similar to the Medieval guild system where people learned skills via apprenticeship to experienced older people. Artists certainly fall into this area also. While some are self trained, many are guided by the efforts and vision of mentors. It's fascinating looking back and seeing how the style of one artist affects later artists.

Merlyn Gabriel said...

Oh she is exquisite. You do such beautiful work.

Inspiring.... I am thinking of trying a 'Thrawn' doll.... hmmmmmm

you really amaze and inspire me.

many hugs
xxxxxxxs and ooooooooooos

rashbre said...

Fascinating. The Japanese puppet world has such amazing costumes and also great creatures like the dragons and so forth. This should be an excellent project.

Delighted to see your certificate a few posts back for yout trio of buddies for the Library!

And Konnishi-wa, Michele sent me!


Jean-Luc Picard said...

That is such a beautiful doll, Florence. She indeed waits patiently for more. Very inspiring.

Florence said...

Panthergirl, thanks for the visit:)

Utenzi, your comments are good ones. I have been fortunate to have had one very important teacher, whose instructions have been invaluable.

Merly and JL what would I do with out you :) thankyou for your support and incouragement.

xxxs and ooos

Rashbre, the mythology and folklore of Asia is indeed a rich one. The Japanese Bunraku puppets are incredible. I hope to do a post about them in the future. Thanks for the well wishes :)

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

I am awed with your skill as an artist.

I had to help the lil' clone on a field trip make a 'cornhusk doll'. He finally told me "please stop helping me dad, your cornhusk doll all look like cornhusk and not dolls" this was said in the most exasperated 1st grader voice you can imagine.

So I am always impressed by people who can make art out of seemingly nothing.

Florence said...

aw shucks AOC *blushes* thanks :)

It sounds like lil' clone has definite ideas about what his things should look like, that's a good thing. One starts to make things when one has a vision and can not find it out in the world. Then one begins on the journey of making it be. Making things is a wonderful experience. All human things are a product of the imagination -it is the visable portion of the human mind.


Erifia Apoc said...

You should see my drawings... lol... You should finish the pretty little doll. I'm not one for dolls, but I know a couple people who are, and if they saw her sitting in a shop window, they would make their boyfriends buy it for them.

Florence said...

Hi Erifia, so very lovely of you to drop by :D

I'm just about to start working on my website Flying Star Toys, so maybe one day they will see them in a shop window...albeit a virtual one.

Its quite funny but I've never thought of myself as a doll person either...perhaps I'm in what with a couple of life-size ones living in my studio.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

and By the Way, just for the record. I can so handle myself in the biscuit in the ring!

Wait that sound wrong, you didn't just trick me into saying something off-color in Aussie did you? :)

p.s. Vote For Tak ;P

Florence said... I'm not an off-colour sort of person. I know you can handle yourself that's why I thought it was a bit suspicious of Henchman to want to take out the whole bunch for you. In a way I was sticking up for you...if you think about it :)