There are, undoubtedly, as many interpretations of Modern Haiga as there are people who create them. As in many of the art and poetry genres today, there is no clear “path to the waterfall,” as Raymond Carver wrote. The blending of art and haiku is an ancient one, steeped in tradition and the expression of Eastern cultural sensitivities. Modern, 21st Century haiga has taken this form and is in the throes of reshaping it to fit the global community's sense of experimentation and innovation.
It is not the purpose of this introduction to pass judgment on previous definitions of Modern Haiga or to presume to write the definitive interpretation of what it “should” be or which path is the best.
What I hope to convey, in general terms, is my general philosophy of what Modern Haiga is and what the guidelines for submission are.
I encourage the freedom of artistic expression. I understand it as evolution, a new seed, different but just as fertile as the original mother tree. I hope to see in the coming year fresh new images in every genre--photography, brush art, computer art, and any combination thereof. It needs to be married to a well formed haiku or other short poem. The image should enhance the haiku , allow the reader to “read between the lines” and gain a deeper insight into the haiku, which should not simply describe the image. This is key, in my view. The blend of haiku and image must be a delicate, thoughtful blending, a juxtaposition that allows the reader to have a deeper understanding of what the haiga is.
Having said that, I will be looking for that indefinable connection between Modern experimentation and the Essence of traditional Eastern philosophy: simplicity, minimalism in artistic attitude, and a graciousness that the Western culture could do well to emulate.
All submissions must go through the SH submission process and a biography and photo will be expected if the submission is accepted. Although I’m holding the door open to innovative Modern Haiga, I intend to set the artistic and poetic bar high.
I encourage comments, suggestions and hope to have an ongoing dialog with those who would like to share their ideas and knowledge about Modern Haiga.
~ Jerry Dreesen
Copyright 2006: Simply Haiku