Kansai & Seto Inland See in Art 2014 by Samues Leung

It was not until 2014 when I planned to stay for a longer while in the fascinating city Kyoto where I had been for a couple of times, trying to take a different, more comprehensive approach on my art journey. I am always interested in exploring more opportunities to learn and capture the sense of Wabi-Sabi and its philosophies that I want to employ and incorporate in my artwork.

I believe there is nothing better than an exclusively “art-for-art-sake” journey to nearly all the Art Museums in various cities, appreciating Japanese culture and art in different art forms, ranging from ancient to modern, within one journey. It is relaxing to concentrate on viewing and admiring artwork along the way, while I can enjoy my free-driving experience, without being bound by a hectic itinerary and away from the hustle and bustle of popular sightseeing and shopping spots!

This art journey started from Kobe (神戸) and carried through a route covering several cities less known to tourists, namely Okayama(岡山市), Kasaoka (笠岡市),  Kurashiki (倉敖市), especially Seto Inter sea (瀨戶內海). The most amazing driving experience for me is when taking the car ferry from Okayama to Naoshima (直島) and across the Great Seto Bridge (瀬戸大橋), and finally drove from Takamatsu (高松市) to Tokushima(德島) before returning  to Kobe through Ohnaruto Bridge (大嗚門橋).

Travelling over 800km, I visited more than 10 cities and 20 Museums. Unfortunately, 2 of them were closed during my visit. Nevertheless, before I went to Kyoto (京都) for my further studies, I had visited another museum in Nara and a heritage temple in Uji. In this art book, I recorded some of their exhibits in order to showcase the types of arts that have impressed me most throughout my journey.

I grasped the chance of studying the ceramics in Kyoto while visiting some famous temples and art galleries. Thanks for my Gallery friend there, I found 2 respectable Japanese artists of my great interest. None of them introduced Wabi-Sabi art but I can learn a lot from their artwork, in a sense of their “spiritual way”, and the forms and materials they have been working on.

Of course, due to the limitation of coverage, I can only include some selected photos and information in the book but I would say, from my deep memory of the journey, I will be eager and able to transform my travelling and learning experience into my artwork in the future, having a myriad of mesmerizing images, or words, imprinted on my mind.