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OUTSIDE THE GATE: a haiga rengay

I'm always interested in exploring haiga in series, and rengay always seems to take well to haiga sequences. This haiga rengay originated in an winter exercise at WHChaikumultimedia. Our challenge was to create a haiga by altering and poeming Japanese Old Master woodblock prints. One of the possibilities was Hiroshige's snow scene of the Gion Shrine from the "Famous Views of Kyoto" series.

I began working on the Hiroshige with various distortion filters in Photoshop, just to see what interesting abstract designs might result, and soon realized that I had amassed a collection of images that just seemed to go together. I winnowed them to six, set them in what seemed to be an evolving order (you'll see that the amount of filtering and distortion increases as the series progresses), and composed a rengay for them that would have links not only poem-to-image but also poem-to-poem in series.

For more on rengay as a poetry form, see and