Saturday, December 29, 2012

End and Gathering (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

As the end of the year draws near, thoughts often turn to one's mortality but also as to what lies ahead in the coming year. Alternatively put, the kind of thoughts that are so well expressed in the poem by Robert Herrick whose opening line many of us were introduced to by Mr. Keating, the inspirational English teacher essayed by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.  (No, not "Carpe diem, seize the day" -- but the similar in message "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...")

A few weeks ago when a couple of friends (including the blogger behind The Fragrant Harbour) and I went to check out Takashi Murakami's Flowers and Skulls exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery, I also got to thinking of Herrick's poem.  I'm not sure if Murakami's familiar with and even inspired by the 17th century Englishman's writings.  But check out the following lines (especially the ones that make up the first stanza) and then consider Murakami's decision to paint flowers and skulls -- sometimes together in the same work:-
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
   Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
   Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 
   The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
   And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
   When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
   Times still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time,
   And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
   You may forever tarry.
On a more prosaic note: if you like the images at the top of this entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts, be sure to check out the Gagosian Gallery's image page for the show (that runs through to February 9, 2013 here in Hong Kong). And yes, I do wish I had better shots from my gallery visit but, as I mentioned on the comments thread for The Fragrant Harbour's entry about the Murakami exhibition and more, I was rather unnerved by the men in black (suits) gathering around in the gallery presumably to make sure that the art on display didn't get stolen or vandalized (but who turned out to be okay with photo-taking)! 


magiceye said...

Beautiful take on the themes!

Vicki said...

Lovely artwork and so apt with the poem. A fitting end to the year

Views from the end of the jetty at my house

YTSL said...

Hi magiceye --

Thanks, as usual! :)

Hi Vicki --

I'm glad you see the connection between the poem and Murakami's art too. :)

Gattina said...

I like the first picture, it looks so special !

chica said...

Linda participação!Gostei muito! beijos,FELIZ 2013!! chica

Goodbye HK, Hello YVR said...

Like the poem -- which is why we should be doing carpe diem!

Raine said...

Happy New Year! I'm thinking of positive vibes right now so it'll be a good coming 2013 for me. Lots of lows in previous years so hoping a cheerful new year will be next. :D I don't have access to an art gallery that's within my location, so this is quite thrilling to see. Very nice poem too.

Felipa Monteverde said...

Good idea for the theme. I saw the movie but do not remember much about it, just the magnificent performance of Robin Williams.
Happy New Year

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

You like the photo or the painting in the photo? I like both! :b

Hi Chica --

Thanks for visiting and happy 2013 in advance to you too. :)

Hi The Fragrant Harbour --

I like the poem except for the marriage part and the title... ;b

Hi Raine --

Thanks for the good wishes and here's hoping for a better 2013 for you than 2012 has been. Re the art works: feel free to check out the art-themed entries on this blog... ;b

Hi Felipa M --

There's much I remember and love about "Dead Poets Society" -- and ya, the poetry is part of it. :)

LifeRamblings said...

these are gorgeous artwork. best wishes for 2013.

Carver said...

I like your shots from the gallery show a lot. Great take on the themes and the poem is great too. Happy new year ahead.

Susan Demeter said...

True words, we must enjoy things while we can because time will move forward and nothing is the same forever. I think those of us who study and think of death accept this and through that knowledge we can live :)

Happy New Years and thank you for always posting something I can learn from and think about. :) Love the pics too! :)

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, what a perfect and creative take on the two themes. First, I really love that movie, in my opinion his best film. The poem and Murakami art goes so well together. A wonderful and thought provoking PH to end to the year. I'm so looking forward to PH 2013.

Have a safe and healthy New Year YTSL!

YTSL said...

Hi LifeRamblings --

They are indeed. I have to say that I'm particularly partial to Takashi Murakami's smiley flowers. :)

Hi Carver --

I'm glad you liked what you saw and read in this entry. Happy new year in advance to you too. :)

Hi Sue --

I agree that accepting the inevitability of death in our lives helps us to better appreciate life. And thank you fore reading as well as looking at the photos in my Photo Hunt entries. :)

Hi TrekCapri --

Thank you for appreciating this entry so much.

Re Peter Weir's works: I love "Dead Poets Society" but also think "Gallipoli" is a great film and got much out of viewing "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and "The Year of Living Dangerously". OTOH, I really don't care for "Picnic at Hanging Rock" -- in fact, I couldn't get past more than half an hour of it! ;(

eastcoastlife said...

I fell in love with the first picture. I hope the exhibition comes to Singapore. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

peppylady (Dora) said...

Living in a small town things like that don't come around.
I found the last shot amazing...I guess it amazing I can't quite figure it out.

See you in 2013.

Coffee is on.

Vane M. said...

Gosto da combinação de belas imagens e lindas palavras, gostei do poema. Um abraço, feliz Ano Novo!

YTSL said...

Hi EastCoastLife --

I like that "Buddha-esque smiley flower" too -- and think that it was my favorite painting in the exhibition, with the painting featuring flowers with black faces and/or petals being my second favorite. :)

Hi peppylady --

I'm assuming that Murakami's also exhibited in the US -- I know he has at Versailles too -- but ya, I think it'd only be in major cities like New York.

Hi Bia Hain --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. Am happy that Google translator is doing its job. Here's wishing you a happy 2013 too. :)