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Letters from Tokyo
World of Art: Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic and the Impact of France and Kosovo
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
"Café Terrace with Posters" by Saeki Yuzo (1898- 1928)

Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic come from extremely different cultures and belong to different periods of history. Yet the one binding reality is their love of art irrespective if their respective thought patterns are different. This article is meant to briefly open up their respective worlds and to give the reader the chance to explore their intriguing art.

In truth, do experts count in the field of art and likewise when did popularity mean anything? After all, many famous artists in history struggled to survive and barely hit the heights during their respective lifetime, if indeed at all. Therefore, art and famous artists belong to the world of “reality” and “unreality.” The same applies to what each individual viewer can feel from different special pieces of art because ideas and connections vary enormously.

Yuzo Saeki was born in 1898 and sadly he passed away under terrible conditions in 1928. He was born in Osaka but died in a lonely place in Paris whereby he was mourned by virtually nobody. Indeed, the pain of his tuberculosis and worsening mental state meant that Yuzo Saeki drew even more frantically because he knew deep inside that his days were numbered. The final few months would witness him being put into a mental asylum in Paris and dying while being penniless.

The world of (http://www.alyseradenovic.com/index.htm) Alyse Radenovic belongs to the modern world because she was born in 1973 and currently this extremely artistic lady resides in Arlington, Virginia, in America. Yet both share the world of art and the fusion of different cultures which impact on their respective thought patterns. Of course, the world of Paris and the France that Yuzo Saeki knew is mainly now buried in the cold earth. In the new Paris of today only the vestiges of culture, history, faith, connection and other areas, maintain a link with the old world. Likewise, the world of modern Japan would render mass confusion for Yuzo Saeki if his spirit could magically reform itself into “a new being” in modern Japan. Similarly, the world of Alyse Radenovic in Arlington will be very different from others because people shape “the world around them.” Also, her love of Serbia and the struggle of different Serbian communities in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo, bind her with the passion felt by Yuzo Saeki towards France.

In many art pieces by Yuzo Saeki you can envisage a world of chaos and abandonment despite the original theme being full of beauty, when applied to his art work in Paris. Maybe it was the real “Yuzo Saeki” speaking through his art. After all, during his final months on this earth in Paris he was also thrown out and forgotten. Therefore, the distant and chaotic brushstrokes may also indicate his inward isolation, while painting frantically in the knowledge that his time was ebbing away because of tuberculosis.

The feeling of abandonment for Yuzo Saeki may seem like a million miles away from Alyse Radenovic when it applies to time and their respective lifestyles. However, for the Serbs of Kosovo they also feel abandoned by the international community which sits back while their numbers dwindle in percentage terms and their culture is being destroyed. It is sometimes difficult to know the worse type of pain – either the pain which one feels because of the internal reality of a terrible disease – or the pain from seeing something that you love which is being destroyed but you are powerless to do anything. This reality means that the different worlds of Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic share a common thread linked to suffering irrespective if the circumstances are different.

In another article about Yuzo Saeki I comment that “Yuzo Saeki provides a genuine glimpse into the “real separation” of “a love affair” which refused to acknowledge his deep love of Paris and France. This applies to many art pieces whereby the distance from his vantage point is noticeable by the confused lettering of certain places he depicted. Also, the manic and confused lines within some of his art may denote all the inner-confusions and utter desperation that he felt at times. Despite this, and being in extremely poor health, he could not pull himself away from a culture which inspired him to create stunning pieces of art.”

In the stunning art piece by Alyse Radenovic titled “Stara crkva u Sarajevu” it is clear that the art and subject matter is much deeper than the original image when viewed in the first few seconds. The more you look and think about the demographic changes happening in Sarajevo today, whereby the Serbian community is resembling what is happening in Kosovo, despite various different factors. Then it soon becomes apparent that the “abandonment” of Yuzo Saeki in Paris can be felt by Alyse Radenovic despite the issue being a million miles away.

I comment about this beautiful piece of art by stating that “The light of faith is facing the darkness of time in Sarajevo.” Yuzo Saeki also could feel the tuberculosis eating away at him in distant Paris but his love of art was too strong to draw him to safety. Likewise, for the remaining Serbs of Kosovo their love of their land, religion, culture, and history, means that they stay despite being abandoned and knowing that “the light of hope” is ebbing away.

This article is meant to provide a brief glimpse into aspects of the art and thought patterns of Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic. For more information then please check the websites below. Also, it must be stated that the respective art of Yuzo Saeki and Alyse Radenovic are much more varied than the limited theme chosen in this article. For example, Alyse Radenovic produces lovely landscapes and other forms of art based on a wealth of different themes.

The above article is from Modern Tokyo Times.



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. His website is at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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