Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tsunami, Sanskriti residency, Jaipur

     We have a Japanese artist here at the residency. She hasn't lived in Japan for some years- teaches Graphic Design in Seattle. After the tsunami, she couldn't reach friends or relatives in Japan. Then, she got a high fever and was holed up in her studio for a day without eating. We worried about her not answering when we called into her studio. Finally she got through to Japan. Now says things in Tokyo are fine. Seems to be in some level of denial. Her home town is far away from the nuclear plants. Is that the way it is for some people? Most people? Have to confess I kept packing my suitcases for Jaipur  in between checking the news on my computer. Couldn't bear to watch any of the videos on the catastrophe - so hard. Yet, here in India, I see the "hard" nearly every day.

    Tonight a group tour came to visit the residency, its museum and ceramic workshop. They are a group of about fifty Colorado College alums and parents of students. The flute music drew me out of my studio. The trees on the grounds were decorated with hanging leis of marigolds. Cut rose blossoms sat in water in bowls on each table. The air was delightfully cool. The food was great. Even strawberry ice cream. I had two helpings - the heck with the carbs. They are staying at the Oberoi. Doing 12 days of constant going/seeing and whatever. One woman told me of her shock in seeing a little girl begging with a baby in her arms. Fears she will be haunted by the image. Got a massage and was told to let it go, to do good deeds. They will filter into the world and make things better.I told her that in the 1975-6 there were babies dying in the streets and rings of beggars would surround you when you stepped into the street.
    They came yesterday so still must have jet lag. Were very friendly. OP Jain's grandson spoke to the group. Elegant man just back from the Kennedy School of Gov't in Cambridge. Lucky him. When I was a resident artist at Harvard I went to a panel talk there with Ted Kennedy on the panel. Fascinating to see POWER walk in and talk.
And, here's a quote from the Sunday NY Times Magazine section:
“I think the chance of finding beauty is higher if you don’t work on it directly,” Zumthor has said in describing his philosophy. “Beauty in architecture is driven by practicality. This is what you learn from studying the old townscapes of the Swiss farmers. If you do what you should, then at the end there is something, which you can’t explain maybe, but if you are lucky, it has to do with life.”  Peter Zumthor, Swiss architect   (TV interview – slides/comments) (performance photos)  (open studio visit) (monoprint artworks) (mask tale recording)

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