haigaonline
issue 9-2
autumn/winter 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our last issue, we featured an interview with Haigaonline's founder, Jeanne Emrich, "Starlit Mountain: How White Space and Imagination Work in Haiga." In it we discussed the use of white as space and content in haiga. I had heard her speak at the 2005 Haiku North America conference and it set me on the path to a better understanding of haiga aesthetic. As of the present issue, it becomes a "back issue" but I've realized that I don't want to let it go quite yet and I'd like to use our new Editor's Choice page to encourage readers to revisit this important article.

We modern haiga artists have means at our disposal that the old masters, with their ink brushes and rice paper, could not have dreamed. We may work with scanned images, digital art, mixed media or photography, on computers armed with Adobe Photoshop and Elements, PaintShopPro, Illustrator, etc. Some of them have so many bells and whistles that we often wind up with "more is more"—an aesthetic of elaborate manipulation, fancy frames and text effects.

Yet haiga is an aesthetic of the incomplete, the art of bringing image and text together while still leaving space, silence, dreaming room or ma—whatever one chooses to call it—for readers to engage and complete the meaning themselves. Even in digital media, this can be so. Think of your browser window in that split second before the page loads.

Since Jeanne's article appeared in the last issue, I've been on the lookout for haiga in which white plays an active role in both composition and content. If you'd like to revisit Jeanne's article, it's still there in our back issues (click here to open it in a separate browser window).


Denis Garrison
Alexis Rotella

Jerry Dreesen

Pris Campbell

Jerry Dreesen

Denis Garrison
Alexis Rotella

Jerry Dreesen

Frank Williams

Jerry Dreesen

Alexis Rotella

Finally, I'll leave you with one more, Mike Rehling's haiga eulogy for Bill Higginson. Myself, I only met Bill briefly, at the 2005 Haiku North America, but I too am indebted to him. Haiku World is always at my elbow and it was through his Renku Home site (http://renku.home.att.net/) that I began to understand renku linking as it applies to haiga. We have all been Bill's students, and through his writings we will continue to be. May proof be in the directions that Haigaonline takes as we go into our second decade of publication.


Mike Rehling
in memory of
William J. Higginson (1938 - 2008)

lmp
12/21/08