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Chelsey: Write ups:

I can't make save them as pdfs...sorry. if you can tell me how I'll edit this.

Chelsey Johnson
Event Write Up
Drawing and Illustrating
13 May 2008

MIA: Researching Scrolls


At the MIA there are seemingly thousands of scrolls documenting nearly 900 years of the Japanese tradition of poetry. Muraski Sikibu was a poet around 900 AD, and with display of hanging scrolls, folding screens, sculpture, lacquers, textiles, and ceramics the collection at the MIA was more than enough to research her art and way of life.
A technique that was used by artists at court was the pictorial device of fukinuki yatai, or "blown-away roofs." In this technique artists would draw houses and rooms without roofs to allow viewers to peer into the private apartments of the novel's protagonists. I used this when designing my portrait of Muraski. The view is at just the right angle to view one room and then another.
Other styles and approaches that were inspired from the exhibit were the use of paper and cloth, as well as the use of calligraphy. A paper resembling Asian print cloth was used to frame the scroll sumi ink paper, and the calligraphy was used in a more graphic way to portray the actual thoughts of Murasaki.

Chelsey Johnson
Event Write Up
Drawing and Illustrating
13 May 2008


The Lost Empire: Russian Color Photo Rendering

The current exhibit at the Russian Art Museum focuses not only on the Russian traditions that were lost to revolution, but the amazing technology that reconstructed black and white photos that had been completely destroyed not only to their old glory but reconstructed with color.
Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, the original photographer, wanted to plant seeds of unity and nationalism in the young minds of Russia by means of a photographic survey of the Russian Empire. This won the support of Tsar Nicholas II, and he granted Prokudin-Gorskii access to several restricted areas within Russia and enjoyed the support and he traveled the country in a specially equipped railroad car that was provided by the Ministry of Transportation. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, he completed photographic surveys of eleven regions.
By 1918 The Tsar and his family had been assonated and the photos were destroyed along with them. All that remained were the glass plates that served as negatives for Prokundin-Gorskii’s photos. From these, with the help of digichromatography, an amazing collection of colored photographs was created.
An interesting style can be seen throughout these photos. Often times one can hardly believe that they were one black and white because they are so perfect and life-like. Then, one will come across a picture of a crowd of people and notice one of them is intentionally smeared and over saturated. Since Most of the photos are rural areas of Russia the pastoral scene was common in this exhibit, though it offered a twist very now and then when the smoke swirling out of a chimney shone in a brilliant rainbow of colors.
This mix of rural and technology becomes an interesting motif throughout the exhibit and holds a new angle to approach photographic and graphic arts.