Clare’s Diary Week 8 ⑤ / Learning From the Ancient Art(古くから伝わるものに触れ、磨かれる感性)



Today, I lost enthusiasm in the afternoon. First time during the whole project which is impressive as this is a very long project for me to work continuously on. My personally work I usually dip in and out of. Professional work is usually no longer than two weeks at a time max on each project. So two months is a very long project for me. Perhaps I could do this kind of project length easily this time because I was my own boss and could decide what bit to do each day. I’m not very good at being told what to do. It has a short sell by date. At the start of a project I am very good at taking orders but my curiosity and boredom tend to take over when I start getting comfortable making me perhaps an undesirable employee. Thankfully this project has so many different types of work involved, if I get uninterested in one area there is something to work on needing a different approach.

Today I had kimchi stew. Kimchi is an old favourite of mine. It has all the good stuff in it. Chilly, garlic, vinegar. I mean what more can you want? And it has a good crunch to it as well. I was first introduced to kimchi by my friend Sophia who is a good friend of Arisa and me. She is Korean but lives in Germany.
I forgot about Saturday. Saturday we had a miso making workshop. I had asked a few weeks ago how you make miso. Kana said it was easy. I don’t think waiting a year is easy. But hey. She had kindly prepared all the ingredients, like the beans, ready for us to pummel and mix with Koji (malted rice) and salt. I think you might be able to make miso with most things as long as u mix it with Koji and salt are good. Don’t let any air get in otherwise it will go moldy instead of nicely ferment. I don’t think I will be able to take mine cycling around Vietnam so perhaps I can leave it in Nagareyama and sample some next year if I return.

Also today, a man who came a few days ago to translate came to visit again. On the back of his business card was an enchanting illustration of his family’s soy sauce factory about 400 years ago. This was just the inspiration I needed as I wanted to add some architecture in the winter scape, like the famous Emaki (ancient Japanese scrolls) like that of “The Tale of Genji”).
Today he came back and showed me some more art he had from his family’s collection. There was a large scroll that rolled up neatly into a box. I took photos so perhaps Gaetan can one day make me some to store my drawings in. These are much more practical ways of storage work. Unlike how I do at the moment which is flat and in draws of frames which takes up too much space and runs the risk of edges being bent. Gaetan will be able to make some super fine boxes. I might even encourage him to calve into them…gentle suggestions tho…softly softly

Also a book of beautifully illustrated kimonos were shown to me. I was in complete awe. The colours the confidence and the sensitive in each line nearly made me weep. I still have so much to learn from the masters in this country. I painted two kimono ladies today but did not do them justice in comparison. There is so much detail my hungry little eyes can’t take in enough of.


今日のお昼はキムチ鍋でした。昔からキムチは大好き! 唐辛子、にんにく、酸味、好きなものが全部入ってる! 歯ごたえもいいし、言うことなし! 初めてキムチを教えてくれたのはソフィアという韓国人の友達。今はドイツに住んでいてありさとも仲の良いアーティスト。