Jun 9, 2016



photo by JoAnn C. Arosemena  

I got this photo from my niece, JoAnn. It's a Japanese Tool box made of wood, coming to life. JoAnn constructed the box at her school's wood shop at Pratt University in Brooklyn where she is working this summer. 

When I got the photo yesterday via a text, I was immediately taken by all the lines, by the strength of the image, the posture of all the tools, the presence and absence of the primary colors, the composition and tone of the photo and certainly all the possible narratives. 

I love details. 

I immediately thought of pressure, precision, posture, power, patterns, passion, purpose and of course all the possibilities. The photographs for me a visual poem, a poem where I could fill in the blanks. 

I found several videos and articles on the internet with instructions on how to build a Japanese Toolbox. The hallmark of all the designs: simple, beautiful, functional and usually the absence of hardware, handles and hinges.  

The practical application of a toolbox coupled with a vision for form, beauty, simplicity and durability. And they come in all shapes and sizes. 

When the box is referred to as a toolbox, I imagine the artifacts that can be stored, carried, hidden, gifted, conserved, transported, curated, collected, ENDLESS.  

I consider very sharp knives, fancy marbles, fragile letters, shiny guns, old coins, rare baseball cards, dried out cigars, foreign paper money, family documents, someone's ashes, long forgotten shells, small metal toys and perhaps a vintage Barbie. 

Yup, all this from a quick glance at a photo with all those beautiful lines.  Thanks for sharing JoAnn. 

From Dutch Painter Piet Mondrian:

It is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true. 

From French Painter Henri Matisse:

Remember, a line cannot exist alone, it always brings along a companion.