Friday, October 22, 2010

The size problem.

I have been to Singapore on a few days trip, attending a conference and giving a talk. The energy in Singapore is incredible. Even politicians are open-minded and quick in making decisions, a rarity in my home country. One of the officials said that Singaporeans had to reinvent themselves constantly. I have never heard a remark of similar nature from someone in power in my native country.

Coming back to Tokyo on the plane, I was thinking about the size effect. The size of Japan is intermediate, not too big, not too small, and therefrom arise lots of problems. Japan is not big enough to assume a superpower role like the U.S. or China. Japan’s domestic market is large enough to sustain its publishing and broadcasting industries, two areas where globalization was supposed to happen but never did, probably due to the language barrier.

Japan’s peculiarities should arise not only from its unique history but also from the sheer size of its economy and culture. There one has a chance of drawing universal conclusions from a seemingly peculiar problem.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ideally, I would like to do everything en plein air.

Even small children are fond of moving their hands and leaving tiny traces of colored lines on the paper. A whole career can be built, starting from the doodling. If you take the business of drawing and painting seriously, there is no end in sight. It is an infinite process.

For sometime, I have been fascinated by the idea of the French impressionist’s “En plein air”. You paint something on the spot, without deliberation, devoid of painstaking days of hard work. Everything is conducted spontaneously, on the spot, with a dazzling result artistically.

When I visited the Musee d’Orsey a few years ago I was taken by the paintings by Monet (refer to the entry into this journal on the 9th October 2004). It was at this time that the concept of “En plein air” became so important within me that I have been thinking about its universal applicability to other fields of activities ever since.

Ideally, I would like to do everything en plein air.

En plein air.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mozart was a forerunner of John Lennon.

People might think that Mozart was a naïve guy who left for others to write the librettos of operas. If you look carefully you notice otherwise. There is something very consistent in what he wrote, not only in terms of music but also in the sense of universal humanitarian values.

At the end of the opera “Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail”, the hostages are released and people dance in rejoice. The celebration of humanity, without religion, without border. Unity of men beyond the classes, races, and cultures were the penetrating theme of ALL his works. Mozart was a forerunner of John Lennon.