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keitaro arima

Harutsuguru oni (Spring Announcing Demon) - HAPPY WARMMY


The exhibition’s theme is ‘Japan’s four seasons’ so I created this image depicting the last day of winter/first day of spring.
In the Imperial court, a ceremony was carried out on New Year’s Eve, according to the Chinese calendar, to drive out devils. This spread to the general populace and became the origin of the setsubun ceremony that is now carried out on February 3,in which people drive out demons by scattering roasted beans and thereby welcome in the spring. Shortly after the demons have been cast out, the plum trees start to blossom so I have chosen to symbolize this by drawing a young, girl demon and a plum tree. Plum trees are the first to blossom, leading them to be known of as ‘Harutsugu hana’ (spring announcing flowers). This is the origin of the title of this work, ‘Spring Announdcing Demon’. I would like you all to conjure up an image of a young girl demon who has been cast out from the palace or an ordinary house, to fly through the air, calling for spring. The English title, ‘Happy Warmmy’,derives from a conversation I had with a friend, who commented, ‘They say that there are not many countries that have four distinct seasons, like Japan.’ ‘Then what is spring?’ ‘I suppose it is when it gets a bit warmer’. ‘So, they will take off their clothes then’. That is all, it certainly does not refer to thick blanket-like clothes!
Maybe it was a result of all this quibbling, but I found myself in a quandary—it concerns the yellow talismans that fill the air in the picture. Both Onmyodo and Shinto use paper talismans, but when I checked them out, I found that these are white with red characters, yellow with black characters, or black with red characters, only the Chinese use yellow with red characters. In the end, I decided that the visual impact was the most important thing and so I used yellow with red characters. The custom of driving out demons in this way originated in China anyway, so I hope I will be forgiven.
Incidentally, regarding the design of the talisman, I could not use powerful ones so instead I copied simple ones to stop children wetting their bed, or to stop them crying at night and prevent eczema; harmless things that would not be able to cause any real harm.
When producing this illustration, I tried a technique I have not used much before. The plum tree in the foreground was drawn using traditional Japanese ink and paper which I then scanned into the computer and manipulated in Photoshop. I simply thought that using traditional materials in this way would increase the Japanese feel of the work and make it more interesting, but the gradation I achieved with the ink created a fascinating effect and I will use this technique more in the future
It was the only the commentary that took up 2 columns of the page rofl.
WtfCakes said:
It was the only the commentary that took up 2 columns of the page rofl.
…… goooodjooooob~