Guo Xi’s and Katsushika Hokusai’s landscape artworks are the amalgamation of each individual personal experience and expression of nature and their respective philosophies towards the natural world. Both Guo Xi and Hokusai’s landscape artworks serves as a form of meditative art as it leaves the viewers to interpret the work as they wish limited by their own imagination which could relieve emotional stress, hence separating them from the truth and reality of their daily lives, momentarily. (Do I need to add in visual evidence here or can I do it at the subsequent paragraphs?) Despite sharing similar philosophies of asserting their ideal reality which are mentally constructed in their minds onto their artworks, the execution and purposes of each artist’s work is largely different in terms of not only the selected medium choices but also their views and play on perspectives.
Question 4: Compare landscape painting by Guo Xi’s with woodblock print of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai. Consider the following in your discussion: patrons, producers, materials, production, function, and meanings.
Landscape painting is the amalgamation of the artist’s expression of his accumulated experiences in nature and his philosophical view towards the natural world which is richly symbolic as he depicts what the landscape personally embodies for him. The scenery painted often leaves the audiences to ponder in their own imagination as they wish which could provide metaphors for life.
Landscape painting serves as a form of meditative art whereby viewers can get immersed into the art as the artwork takes you through on a journey of the serenity of nature, leaving the viewers with their own imagination to interpret the artwork which could relieve emotional stress, hence separating them from truth and reality momentarily as a way to escape from their daily lives, thus leaving the viewers feeling spiritually refreshed.
Figure 1 Old Trees, Level Distance, Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), ca. 1080 Guo Xi (Chinese, ca 1000-ca. 1090); Handscroll; ink and color on silk 13 ¾ x 41 ¼ in. (34.9 x 104.8cm); Source: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Guo Xi’s landscape painting is mostly illustrated with the intent to depict a form of realism whereby he studies the nature elements such as mountains, greenery and lifeforms which he then transfers onto silk and paper marked with a Xuanhe zhongbi seal as seen in Fig 1. Old Trees, Level Distance just as the way he sees it. However, besides the idea of just realism in which he paints in a manner that does not challenge the laws of perspectives, Guo Xi’s intent to show the form of idealism is present as well in his work as he creates multiple perspectives which he calls ‘the angle of totality.’.
Figure 2 Figure 2 Early Spring, Hanging Figure 2 Early Spring, Hanging Scroll , Gui Xi (1010-1090) Ink on Silk. Source: GI
For instance, as seen in Fig 2.Early Spring, Hanging Scroll, we can observe that he attempted to paint the ideal landscape of a Taoist paradise by illustrating a somewhat smoky environment which is idealised to be mythical and powerful for the deities. Also, by including all angles of the mountain which defies the rule of perspective, this painting reeks of idealism. Hence, it is evident that Guo Xi’s painting style treads on both realism and idealism at the same time. – Evidence
Talk about who are the donors that commissioned Guo Xi to complete these artworks
– Guo Xi was a scholar-official, a well-educated painter, likely to be commissioned by the Court/Emperor of the Northern Song Dynasty
What’s the purpose of this production
– The purpose of these paintings were targeted for officials who cannot leave to visit the real landscapes.
State the materials and medium briefly
– Ink and Colour on Silk
INITIAL OPTION – HOKUSAI
Figure 3 The Cushion Pine at Aoyama in Edo- Katsushika Hokusai’s ukiyo-e print, Katsushika Hokusai Edo period (1615–1868) ca. 1830–32 Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper 9 5/8 x 14 3/4 in. (24.4 x 37.5 cm) Source: Henry L. Phillips Collection, Bequest of Henry L. Phillips, 1939
Fig. 3 The Cushion Pine at Aoyama in Edo is one out of thirty-six views of a series that shows the sacred Mount Fuji, produced by Katsushika Hokusai in 1830 when he was seventy years old as he reached the crescendo of his creativity and artistic vigour.
CHOSEN IMAGE – HOKUSAI
Figure 4 Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as The Great Wave, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) Edo period (1615–1868) ca. 1830–32 Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper 10 1/8 x 14 15/16 in. (25.7 x 37.9 cm) Source: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Description of Under the Wave off Kanagawa
Talk about who are the donors that commissioned them(patrons) to complete these two artwork and,
why both the artworks are produced(function)?
Compare their materials and medium briefly
*Talk about Katsushika Hokusai’s style – juxtaposition and linear perspective
Acknowledgement of some similarities in subject matter, degree of realism and medium.
Comparison of different style about Guo Xi’s realism + idealism(multiple angles) VS Hokusai’s realism + idealism (Juxtaposition/Linear perspective/Oblique angle/near and far)
Discuss whether both paintings serves the same/different purpose (Guo Xi’s targeting officials VS Hokusai’s personal facisnation with Mt Fuji and response to the domestic travel boom)
So I was the first one to take part in the drawing of lots and with the possibilities of all the zones in Singapore, I was allocated with Thomson! My initial reaction was of course with great elation considering that I reside in Ang Mo Kio which really isn’t very far off from Thomson. It’s nearest MRT Station at the very start of Thomson Road happens to be Novena, a place that I frequent way too much as I make trips down to the Hospital almost once every week (no I’m not a doctor haha).
So I did up a little research on why it was named Thomson Road, I mean it could have been Benjamin Road right? (just kidding)
And of course, it was because of this guy!
John Turnbull Thomson (b. 10 August 1821, Glororum, England–d. 16 October 1884, Invercargill, New Zealand) was the Government Surveyor of the Straits Settlements from 1841 to 1853. He made a number of important contributions during his 12 years in Singapore, including the creation of maps of early Singapore, as well as the design and construction of several buildings and other public infrastructure on the island.1His greatest achievement was probably the design and construction of the Horsburgh Lighthouse on Pedra Branca.2 A self-taught artist and prolific writer, Thomson’s collection of paintings, books and articles now serve as invaluable records of the architecture and life of early Singapore.3
In an instant, I knew I had to do Architecture considering that it was Sir John Turnbull Thomson’s effort and results which contributed to a certain extent in some way albeit probably not as huge of an impact as the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew but hell, having a road named after you probably means your contribution meant something yeah?
With that, I found my first focus for my first trip of this Neigborhood Explorer project.
Private Apartments along Thomson Road
One of the many Condominiums by Thomson Road
Majority of the materials used in the architecture around this area of Thomson consisted of the above materials which are Blue tinted Mirror Glass, Timber and Concrete finish with different color of paint finish as their facade. This selection of materials spots a very modern look for an architecture in contrast with the other older buildings which was spotted a couple of streets down the long stretch of Thomson Road.
What a long way Singapore had come from planting trees all over Singapore, and in this age, we have many creative methods to provide a purposeful and aesthetically pleasing structure in this case, a vertical planting module which holds the flora which attract them faunas. This is a stark difference from what we can still find along, or rather will find a lot of along the Upper Thomson Road area where huge plots of land are still undeveloped and probably won’t be as those are protected areas and most probably used for the Army as the training ground purposes.
Vertical Planting Modules found outside Starbucks at United Square along Thomson Road
Did I mention that Thomson is a long stretch?
Old buildings beside United Square
One of the older buildings around the modern building at the start of Thomson Road which stood out really obvious. These buildings consist mostly of concrete with paint finish and certain portion of the facade are painted with really tacky colors such as bright green, yellow and blue.
SC Global / NEWTON 200 along Thomson Road
Traditional Shop-houses featuring plenty of different cuisines of food
This Traditional Shop-houses were spotted with a lot of different cuisines…
and these varieties of food stretches further down with more delicious food
… which stretches further down Thomson Road all the way to Upper Thomson Road which based on map reference, could possibly be the distance of Novena MRT to Yishun MRT as a gauge of how long a stretch Thomson really is.
The topic food also branches out to possibly a new focus for myself as I’ve asked around so often about what do they think of when Thomson is mentioned – FOOD.
More old private apartments with the construction of the church of St Alphonsus along Thomson Road
image taken from http://www.panoramio.com/photo/67998490
Rather Old Private Apartments right opposite Novena Square and Velocity
This marks the start of my exploration around the residential area which range from terrace houses to really old HDB buildings. It was really quiet around this area around evening time even though people should be coming back from home by then.
The overall feeling this building gives off is really quite depressing and somewhat creepy?
This area feels a bit like Malaysia, but of course it isn’t. There really wasn’t much special stuff that really breathe Thomson, elements that I could instantly relate to Thomson Road/ Area.
As I delved further into the neighborhood of old Architectures which still doesn’t show much. By now, I was really unconvinced about doing things related to Architecture but I couldn’t let it go yet, so I sticked to my plan and explored further.
We could tell the huge difference between the older buildings as compared to the modern ones. There’s a stark difference between the two of them, in terms of colors, structure and aesthetics just as mentioned before, but it all aims to serve the same purpose – housing families.
On a side note, that right there (on top left) is really amazing, I wish I could go up there one day and see how it looks like and enjoy that spatial experience from that high up.
I’ve finally reached Thomson Flyover by this point and I spotted something really interesting that resides underneath this Flyover which happens to be a Futsal Court – a smaller pitch for football. There were families and their children playing a game of football which is always a nice thing to see. However, it was nothing helpful towards my Zine to be honest which was quite a bummer as I had lots of hope looking from the outside.
Source – Straits Time
Source – Straits Time
With a slew of old-school restaurants and buzzy new hipster joints, some of which are open round the clock, Thomson Village near Upper Thomson Road is a magnet for diners in the evenings and on weekends.
IN UPPER THOMSON
They don’t just park illegally and block your gate, but shout and disturb the residents late at night.
MR LEE, Thomson Ridge resident
But the area’s popularity has created parking and traffic problems, with multiple instances of illegal parking occurring regularly, and residents in nearby estates complaining about restaurant patrons who park in front of their gates and block their cars.
To prevent the situation from deteriorating, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has banned additional eateries from opening in shophouses in sections along Jalan Todak, Soo Chow Walk, Sin Ming Road and Shunfu Road, as well as Upper Thomson Road.