Sunday, November 23, 2008
Charismatic Yong Joon - Manet Series III
Dear Gosijo ...... Thank you so much for caring deeply enough to translate Manet's illustrative scripts for me in part I. I truly appreciate your kindness and have included them with the corresponding paintings. Now I can even picture the settings when Manet was writing these letters :) Continuing Part III, published in Quilt, Auguest 2006 .....
Dear sisters ..... here I am, continuing my journey on Manet with you. In this chapter, I attempt to explore Plato's philosophical influence on Manet and how it relates to our prince's art of acting.
Manet’s greatness is accredited to his truth in life through artistic expression - his innate feelings for his surroundings with sensitivity, his sophistication and thoughtfulness. Through his remarkable eyes and by virtue of the touch of his paint stroke, the subjects in his paintings become alive and vibrant – glowing in the sombre hues of light and dark contrast.
Despite Manet’s radical departure from traditional fine-art academics, one cannot trivialize his influence from Romanticism (Delacroix), Realism (Rembrandt) and Plato’s Cognitive Philosophy. Plato attributed high moral value to the search of truth and viewed imitation as deception. He regarded visual arts as a mimesis, therefore NOT depicting earthly object in its purest form. Under his influence, Manet recognized the essence to coalesce poetry with reality, instilling emotional honesty and truthful spirit into prosaic imagery. It is evident when he reflected Plato’s four stages of human cognition (namely intelligence, thinking, belief, imagination) as four quadrants in the conceptualization of the 'Portrait of Zacharie Astruc' (1866) :
In the 21st century, the definition of visual art has been expanded to include theatre arts and films. Yong Joon is a shining example as DISPROOF to Plato’s centuries old suspicion on visual art. We can witness Yong Joon’s insistence on true-to-reality spirit and sincere attitude into his art of acting during the shooting of the ‘drunken scene’ in April Snow. To recreate realistically the complex emotions of betrayal, crushed self-esteem and helplessness, he voluntarily took in alcohol to immerse himself into a semi-drunken state, thereby portraying the external frustration and internal struggle to its true height. If Plato were alive today, imagine the interesting philosophical exchange Yong Joon would have with him on mimesis over different varieties of tea? I would love to be a referee in that discussion (of course, my support would be entirely one-sided as well)!
While Manet’s water-coloured drawings display such personal charm and seem almost effortless in its presentation, his gentle message to his attractive admirers appears spiritualized and honest in its homage, exuding warmth and sensitivity. In these artworks, I attempt to use Plato’s famous schematic line to define human cognition. With our charismatic Yong Joon, who embodies both intelligence and knowledge, symbolising the immutable form whereas Manet’s floral masterpiece represents physical object perceived by the senses. Happy Birthday, Yong Joon! This one's for you .......
Décidément vous ne nous gâtez pas – ou vous êtes bien occupée ou vous êtes bien méchante(?). Cependant on a pas le courage de vous en vouloir.
(gosijo's translation : To be sure, you do not spoil us – either you are very busy or else you are very unkind. However, we do not have the courage to hold a grudge.
gosijo's thoughts : what do you think of the concordance between images and text? Haha, in the first note, our poor Jonie looks disappointed she's not coming.)
Chère Mademoiselle, que devenez-vous ? ___ ____ ____ déménagement qui vous empêche de penser à vos amis. A bientôt, n’est-ce pas de vos nouvelles ou ce qui vaudrait mieux votre visite.
Amitiés, E. Manet
(gosijo's translation : Tuesday
My dear Miss, it has been a while. ___ ____ ____ your move that prevents you from thinking about your friends. Soon, if you please, with your news or, what would be even better, your visit.
In friendship, E. Manet
gosijo's thoughts : for the second one, he's laughing at his own boldness for suggesting a visit would be even better than receiving news!)
1. Impressionism, Belinda Thomson and Michael Howard, Bison Books Corp. 1988
2. Impressionism Art, Leisure & Parisian Society, Robert L.Herbert, Yale University Press, New Haven & London. 1988
3. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, James N. Wood, The Art Institute of Chicago. 2000
4. Manet The Still-Life Paintings, George Mauner, The American Federation of Arts. 2000