The Liquid Sky: When Art, Haiku and Japanese Myth Connect

Inner Connections of the Liquid Sky
Inner Connections of the Liquid Sky artwork by Maria Papatzelou.

Inner Connections of the Liquid Sky” is Visual Artist Maria Papatzelou’s first e-book containing her Haiku, paintings and a mythical poem that becomes a poetic dialogue between the philosophy and mythology of Japan.

The artist and poet from Lárisa, Greece refers to an ancient Japanese creation myth of Izanagi and Izanami from book the Kojiki, that Masashi Nakamura of Osaka, Japan and Director of the Research Center for Japanese Cultural Structural Studies suggested she include when he was asked to translate her Haiku into Japanese. It was the start of a beautiful collaboration.

Maria Papatzelou

In the English version, published on the heels of a Kyoto exhibition held in April for the 170th anniversary of Lafcadio Hearn’s birth Nakamura produced, the poem crosses eight chapters of the e-book, which includes 25 of her paintings. English translations of Papatzelou’s 43 Haiku are by Frosso Vizovitou. Each are then followed by Nakamura’s explanations of myth and Japanese spiritual culture from his book, The Japan Code.

Nine of Nakamura’s own photographs and Haiga, along with other’s, are also featured in the ebook. Papatzelou’s paintings in the book were also featured in a solo exhibit at Hogonji Temple in Kyoto in conjunction with the Hearn exhibition.

One of Papatzelou’s artwork from the book.

“The Mythical Poem is a poetic bridge of a foreigner to a fascinating Mythology,” Papatzelou said. “I sensed great insight within moments of writing it, totally in the flow. For days I had only the Kojiki in my mind. I started learning to speak Japanese, because the Kojiki captured my mind so deeply.”

From the book Inner Connections From A Liquid Sky

Nakamura wrote the e-book’s preface, translated each haiku into ancient Japanese and also wrote a commentary on each about Japanese culture. “More than just another Haiku book, it is a poetic dialogue between Japanese mythology and spiritual culture,” she added.

From the book, featuring the Washi Kimono Art Project an installation by Maria Papatzelou Photo by Everett Kennedy Brown model Junko Sophie Kakizaki

The e-book’s layout and cover is by visual artist Dimitris Pikros. Photographs and page editing by Masashi Nakamura. A Greek and Japanese-language version will be released soon by Greek publisher Εκδόσεις Οδός. More of her artwork can be found here.

Inner Connections of the Liquid Sky” is available for instant download for the price of 1000 ¥.

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