WEST MEETS EAST
In this series I was looking for similarities in Western and Asian aesthetics to create contemporary visuals – rooted in minimal art movements from both traditions. I was particularly focused on Japanese, minimal aesthetics and the reduced graphic design tradition of my home country Switzerland.
What kind of visual themes, shapes and concepts are unique? Which ones are known in both traditions?
The 18 pieces of this series alternatively recite and combine the two worlds. Technically I limited myself to black and white only combining brushed Indian ink and computer based vector drawings.
All designs are available in many different sizes and products via Society6. Use the following link to browse the collection there, or click images below for direct link to specific designs.
Side Note: The three ‘Zen garden’ pieces obviously recite a Japanese Zen garden, otherwise, while creating them I had also the ‘surrounded islands’ by Christo in my mind; and then, I loved the idea of integrating some ‘accidental’ components like spots of ink to the initial, thoughtful and meditative concepts.
Abacus: Did you know, that the old counting frame Abacus was known centuries before Western world integrated the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system? First Babylonian appearances date back to 2700–2300 BC and the tool was also known in China (called suanpan) and in Japan (named soroban).
Side Note: A torii is a traditional Japanese gate, related to Shinto shrines, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred. While working on this piece I couldn’t decide whether I should go for a hashtag sign or a traditional torii shape until I realized: that’s it! That’s exactly what it should be: neither nor and still both of them. The torii marks the entrance to a sacred space, whereby a # functions like a key into a specific world … felt totally right to me …
The Rings Of Suminagashi: Sounds like the title of a fantasy novel, doesn’t it? Suminagashi is a traditional, Japanese marbling technique that involves floating sumi ink on water in concentric rings. The process is similar to western paper marbling, called ‘ebru’. Inspired by the typical suminagashi look I created this piece with brushed sumi ink and vector drawings.
Target: What would this minimal, zen inspired series be without a reference to the art of zen archery? Concentrate, target, release … this artwork can also be used for visual meditation practices.
Side Note: ‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’, they say. Our society tends to link the concept of beauty with youth … Ever looked at a tree slice? The more rings – the better! Isn’t it?