at the museum today, I enter the room of East Asian Art, feeling
the need to bow before a Korean screen opened to reveal a world
obviously too perfect. The Japanese ceramics are slightly askew,
Ho Mok's theriomorphic brushwork, thick black ink still dripping,
says To consider one's own profit is shameful thinking.
Outside stands a wooden bodhisattva with nose
only, I'm inspired by the curved flow of her
Slide hands down
the smooth flanks of another bodhisattva, returning me to the
12th Century. I sense the sculptor as a small grizzled man, more
smile then frown, surprised to see a foreigner in his workshop.
The guard has suddenly returned. "Please
don't touch the art," she says, giving me the urge to
touch a Buddha's marble head. Being Oriental, does she feel the
Closer to the briny
smell of an ocean, John Marin's watercolors crash
over the heavy, sharp-toothed paper. On a pedestal in the hallway,
in a highly polished head, Brancusi's Carpathian
skills are revisioned in which I see myself reflected.
In a corner is David
Smith's "Portrait of Don Quixote," a centaur
of quest and practice masterfully welded together.
reside works by Northwest shamans: "Bear," "Raven," "Thunderbird," along
with split painted panels of a house, all from the Tlingit; and
some masks from the Kwakwaka' Wakin. Sacred
objects stolen from around the Primal World morphed into
commodity, too soon. We are just beginning to try on masks of
the myriad gods who made us who we are, and glimpse who we may