Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Art of Gaman

Ha!   Dharma at hand, led on the path once again to discover about a show at Smithsonian American Art Museum in March 2010--The Art of Gaman, Arts and Crafts from the Japanese Interment Camps, 1942-1946.  "The interns tried to gaman which is a Japanese word that means to bear the seemingly unbearable with dignity and patience."  I can feel this need now in my life and my last studies have been an indication that I have gone to someplace past the mind and heart to deal with my conflicting emotions of my mother entering a much more mindless place and finding peace with it as on some levels she has.  I also realize that my art is my emotional survival as it was for the Japanese interns, as it is for Palestine artists, as it is for so many peoples.  How can i equate my heart pain with Japanese interns?  Am i equating it?  I am aware through my path tonight that my art is my emotional survival, a human response to difficulties is to make something.  the interns made furniture using scraps and found materials. They made toys and games, pendants and pins, purses, and ornamental displays.  They used what they had or found to create.  Did they have dignity and patience in order to create or did the creating bring about dignity and patience, or is it all one....gaman?  Anyway, I will be more aware of gaman as I tread my path and I am grateful to have guidance along this path.

The image is called Relics, a mixed media assemblage on plywood palette...bits of my past and gatherings come together to tell a piece of the story.  Possibly some of my work is too personal to want to part with and I only realize that after it has been priced and offered for sale and been returned to me.....more wonderings.

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