Monday, July 4, 2016

"Flowers of Edo" by Fumio Fukita

Three years ago I wrote about a Japanese woodcut of a single explosion of firework (by Kasamatsu Shiro) that resembled a great flower in the sky. That blossom looked like a sunflower. This one seems more like a chrysanthemum, which strikes me as unseasonable. Fireworks in real life are colorful, huge, and stunning, but also moving and a bit chaotic. In contrast, the composition here is like an altar. This blossom of concentric circles is like a Great Eye, stationary, balanced, and watching over its lowly subjects on the ground.

I cannot help but feel that this is an image of fireworks that is not so much about fireworks as it is an expression of awe and yearning for order in an unpredictable, ever-changing, and often frightening universe.

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