Nature as Art and Inspiration: What is Haiga?


Today we have the opportunity to take beautiful digital photos and to add a text directly to the image. These two ingredients allow us to experiment with an early art form known as haiga. Traditionally haiga is a Japanese invention combining a sumi-e (inkbrush image) and a three line haiku or a five line tanka poem, hand-lettered on the same paper. The art lies in the subtle relationship between the two.haiga_1
The painting, drawing or photo is not simply an illustration of the poem, nor is the poem a caption for the picture. Each element should stand alone yet create a deeper and more complex meaning to the total work. Today’s internet capabilities allow contemporary haiga (photo-poetry) to expand into exciting new realms.haiga_2
Drawings, paintings or photos may be presented with little or no adjustment, or they may be manipulated until the original is nearly unrecognizable. Photographs can be used as a starting point and the poem may be hand lettered, scanned or pasted to the image, or applied directly using a software’s font capability. Through haiga, the old and new are blended into a unique multimedia artistic experience.haiga_3

Enjoy creating your own haiga.


(The examples are from my Nature as Art and Inspiration portfolio. Click here to visit my blog, Nature as Art and Inspiration.)