Leaf Art

I had fully intended to write about fall leaves, and how glorious they are with their colors and the brilliant shades we only get to see at this time of year, but in my search for something to use as a picture I discovered something else.

Or should I say someone.

Kazuo Akasaki.

Kazuo Akasaki is a Japanese artist who developed a whole different way of creating a picture or painting. He uses fallen leaves as his medium and creates pictures that are amazingly detailed.

Some of his work takes more than six months to create. He was really struggling with making a living until one of his pieces finally won first prize at a competition which enabled him to continue creating his unusual works of art.

What is disappointing is how little information there is about him. I can't find a website that's his, there isn't a Wikipedia entry for him -- nada. Sigh. It made me look deeper (several pages into Google...grin) than normal, but I still couldn't find anything.

What I did find, was that there is a tradition of leaf art in Japan and China. Nguyễn Văn Duy is a gentleman that does the same type of work. He is Vietnamese and found himself interested in the leaf work.

Fortunately, I was able to find more of a description/explanation about what the leaf art entails. What shouldn't surprise me is the length of time it takes to prepare the leaves. They have to gather them, dry them, boil them, and in Mr. Van Duy's case, dye them. His work differs from Kazuo Akasaki's work in that he uses pigment to enrich the colors of the leaves, adding more color and brightness to his creations. They draw the outline of the painting they want to create, and then match the leaves to it.

It's apparently felt that Kazuo Akasaki's painting are too somber...too dark in color.

While I think it would be easy to like the brighter colors, I think Kazuo Akasaki's paintings would be fascinating, and perhaps if he used the brighter leaves, his paintings would be just as bright. I'm not sure if he uses the same techniques that the other gentleman uses. Perhaps his treatment takes some of the colors out. Regardless, I find the whole idea fascinating!

There is, of course, the whole idea of painting ON a leaf -- much like painting on a pumpkin or saw blade -- but that would be for another time.

Next time I'm going to explore some of the things we 'lay' people can do with leaves to create art. Enjoy!

Return to the Neighborhood.


Tristi Pinkston said…
Wow! That's incredible!

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