Apr. 26th, 2012

tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
A stunning series of photographs by German photographer Martin Klimas. He dropped small porcelain figurines of martial arts warriors and, using a high-speed camera, captured the moment they touched the ground:

Two of my favourites )

I love the danger and ephemerality of the images, powerful but simultaneously subject to the process of irreversible decay. Rightly or wrongly, it strikes me as an incredibly Asian aesthetic. Just a week or so ago I was in Japan, coincidentally during the five-day window of peak cherry-blossom viewing in Kyoto, and as [personal profile] qian said recently: you can see the flowers falling apart as you watch, and day by day they thin and shrink until all that's left are bare branches and the beginnings of tiny new leaves. I'm a bit of a sakura cynic (mainly due to the hordes of drunken picnickers and other tourists), but even I found the sight humbling and bittersweet. Beautiful precisely because it contains the seeds of its own destruction, not in spite of it, and once that beauty's gone there's nothing in Heaven or Earth that can get it back.

It reminded me of one of my favourite movies, Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love, the Chinese title of which captures the tone of the movie better than the English: a bittersweet recollection of something fleeting, impossible, beautiful, long gone. 花樣年華, The Age of Blossoms.

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