南山大学

 

>Student Voice Practical Courses in the Japanese Art

Flower Arrangement (Ikebana)

CLAPP, Bernard Knowles (United States of America)

CJS Class of 2015–2016 / Skidmore College

A major factor in my decision to study abroad at Nanzan was the opportunity to study traditional Japanese art forms. When I heard that I could learn ikebana, the art of flower arranging, I jumped at the chance.

Throughout my years as an art student, I have only really been exposed to classical drawing and painting, both of which are very Western forms of art. As a result, I often find myself gravitating towards art forms that fall outside that particular mould. I therefore found ikebana to be the perfect fit for my interests - not only is the lack of traditional artistic tools an exciting challenge, but the importance of angles, space, and three-dimensional relationships forced me to evaluate my artistry in an entirely new way.

This class certainly helped me gain a better understanding of the Japanese aesthetic. For years I've been reading about how Japanese art stresses negative space, asymmetry, and simplicity, but actually creating flower arrangements in accordance with these principles truly helped me better appreciate Japanese tradition.

Chinese Black Ink Painting (Sumie)

LE, Do Hoang Yen (Vietnam)

CJS Class of 2015–2016 / Tufts University

Sumie was one of the best art classes I have taken at Nanzan. I was fascinated from day one by the number of creative strokes that are possible using just a single brush and plain black ink. Every week, our professor would give us a different task and challenge to tackle, from practicing not-so-simple leaf strokes to complex bamboo strokes. Learning under a well-known master of sumie, I have come to admire the delicateness devoted to this special form of painting and the diverse creativity derived from simply using a single tool. Sumie also served as a way to both relax and be productive on a Friday afternoon. It provided me with an opportunity to explore my curiosity for traditional forms of art in Japan. Back in America, I don't think I would have a chance to take a course on something as specific as sumie. Therefore, I really appreciate the effort that Nanzan puts in to offering students special practical courses that can only be experienced in Japan.