Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Haiku and Related Forms
Spring 2005, vol 3 no 1
[ click on the image to see the larger version with zenga ]
and haiga must not be mixed up any more than Zen should be confused with
haiku. Though Zenga
has influenced haiga, it is not vice versa.
is a form of art. Zenga is not. Haiga is light-hearted. Zenga is not, meaning
it is light-hearted and it isn’t at the same time. With all its seeming
easiness, simplicity and lightness, Zenga is a serious business, indeed.
This does not mean, however, that it is easy for me to create Zenga—quite the opposite. Numerous reasons can be thought of for this puzzle. First and foremost, none of the requirements or skills needed for an artist does, and more significantly, should, apply to Zenga. For instance, to draw well or colour skilfully is not part of Zenga, as such a conscious will or intention is contrary to the quest in Zen. This is why many Zenga demonstrate appalling poverty in artistic skills. Secondly, there is no obvious theme, such as the beauty of flowers or likeness in the portrait painting. The lack of theme is one of the strange characteristics of Zenga. Thirdly, many things which are part of creating paintings are redundant in Zenga. For instance, a professional artist paints in order to sell. I don’t create Zenga in order to sell, though of course ironically they may be just the sort of things which do sell. We paint in order to show. I am showing some of my Zenga here, but the act of showing is really not part of Zenga and therefore I am violating Zen’s way. In fact, in Zenga anything and everything is redundant, including the very act of creating it. However, if it’s nothing, then even if I created Zenga it would still be nothing and therefore it should not matter. That is where I am. And that is the only reason, if any, why I do Zenga. When what one does means nothing or is worth nothing, one gets a peculiar sense of being liberated.
For Susumu Takiguchi's biography, art gallery, and writings, visit http://www.floatingstone.net .
Copyright 2005: Simply Haiku