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Chelsey: Write up: I can't seem to make pdfs...

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.