Spring landscape

Maaya Wakasugi

9th April, 2023

I went to London a few days ago. I hadn't been there for five years. On a street corner, I came across a cherry tree whose blossoms seemed to smile at me. 
As you know, cherry trees have a special place in the hearts of the Japanese. They are mentioned in Japanese poetry anthologies such as Man'yoshu or Kokin wakashu.

I remembered a waka (Japanese poetry, translator's note) by Ki no Tsurayuki, poet and compiler of the Kokinwakashu, whom I like very much.

"Cherry blossom petals still fall in the wind and dot the waterless sky."

This poem illustrates the petals of cherry blossoms, carried by the wind, dancing in the sky and compares them to a wave rising in the ocean. The poem depicts the splendour of cherry blossoms and the carpet of petals on the ground. As a child, I did not pay attention to it, but as I grow older, I become more sensitive to this beauty.

Another memory came back to me. I was a student when I went to an ikebana exhibition. I asked the artist what flowers she liked, and she replied, "What is beautiful is the look of a flower that is fading. This struck me. 

Every year in spring, the theme of my work is the cherry tree. The flowers are in full bloom in my studio. Hanami is spectacular in any season.

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Maaya Wakasugi

Calligraphy artist

Born in 1977 in Okayama, Japan. Lives in Bordeaux. Maaya Wakasugi was born in 1977, in the province of Okayama. At the age of 6 he began calligraphy, at 17 he held his first exhibition. In 2001, he graduated from the prestigious DAITO BUNKA Faculty of Arts and developed a personal style based on the so-called "ancient characters". Then, his choice of motifs that he liberates from the classical style, as well as the quality of his artistic expression, bring him a notoriety in Japan as well as abroad - exhibitions at NY ART EXPO (New York), at NEXT STEP BIENNALE (Paris), realization of a performance at MoMA. In January 2017 he calligraphed the title "Onna Jōshu Naotora" of the new historical fiction of the national television channel NHK. In 2018 he is the "Guest Artist of the Summer" by the municipality of Andernos-les-Bain. In 2019 he was chosen to calligraph the name of the new Japanese era "REIWA" on the official website of Yahoo! For the past three years he has been training adults from the PHILOMATHIQUE de Bordeaux, as well as primary and secondary school students from the region, in calligraphy workshops, the most recent of which took place at the DON BOSCO Institute in Gradignan.