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Re: art and the planted aquarium

Ivo Busko wrote:

[quoting yours truly...]
> > vital and 3-dimensional.  By contrast, art in the European tradition
> > (and hence common US culture) is something apart from everyday life.
> > Visual art is generally inanimate and most often two-dimensional.
> <snip>
> Roger,
> Aren't you simplifying things too much ?

No doubt.  There's little to be said in a couple paragraphs that isn't
an oversimplification.  I omitted performance arts -- dance in
particular -- that are quite animated and 3-dimensional.  Renaissance
and Post-Renaissance painting is pretty much what I had in mind when I
described European art as inanimate and 2-dimensional.  It isn't the
subject of the art work that is inanimate and two dimensional, it is the
media.  Paint is inanimate.  Canvas is 2-dimensional.  By contrast,
there are many traditional Japanese arts in which the media are living
and 3-dimensional.  Bonsai are probably the most widely recognized in
the US.

> Anyway, I
> do not agree that we can excuse US "aquascapers" based on the premise that
> European art is mostly inanimate and 2-D. I think it migth be just because
> plant aquariums and aquascaping with plants is still a rather young aspect
> of the hobby here. Most people are still struggling with the basics.

The fact that it is a new concept in the US is exactly what I'm talking
about. It is *not* a new concept in Japan.  The only thing new about it
is doing it in a glass box with submersed plants.  Japanese aquascaping
style is a natural outgrowth of arts and crafts that have been practiced
in Japan for centuries.  For instance, some of Amano's rock arrangements
are highly stylized symbolic forms developed long ago in Japanese
gardens and carried on in bonsai and bonkei.

We in the US probably didn't learn ikebana at our grandmother's knee. 
We weren't raised with 3-dimensional living scenes potted on a table in
our home. That may mean that we are a little behind on the learning
curve, but it doesn't give us much excuse for staying there.  Those of
us who are interested in creating 3-dimensional living art just have to
study a little harder to catch up.

Roger Miller