Mind, Energy, Spirit
January to February 2004
Millions of people practice taijiquan on a daily basis, and Time magazine
recently called it the "perfect exercise". This Chinese healing and
martial art has ancient roots in the philosophy of the Dao which is based on
observation of how the universe works to find ways of living in harmony using
the complementary principles of yin and yang.
Taiji is known as an internal art. It is the refinement of the live force
energy (chi, qi), which is the goal of the practitioner. Taiji is a lifelong
endeavor and ultimately a spiritual practice. So is the process of art making.
Runge presents his exploration of taiji experiences and internal energy through
different media. Mind, energy, and spirit are the three guiding principles for
practicing taijiquan. The mind guides the energy, while the spirit creates the
appropriate form and content. These principles can be equally applied to
taijiquan, art, or any other human endeavor.
The Art Works
"100 Views of Taijiquan"
"100 Views of Taijiquan" is the central work and the culmination
to date of
Dieter Runge's taiji art. The works are inspired by the photographs in Dong
Yingjie's book on taiji. Dong Yingjie is Dong Zeng Chen's grandfather and the
founder of the Dong tradition of taijiquan. Dong Zeng Chen has been Runge's
teacher since 1991. There are more than 200 small photographs in the book taken
in the forties, depicting the traditional Yang style taiji long form, from which
Runge selected 100. Painting the 100 canvasses (8"x 10", oil) was a tribute to
the master; a study of the body positions; and an expression of the complexity
and range of taiji. They also are meant to be fun to view. Runge lives in a
converted garage and while painting during the summer of 2003, these canvasses
covered every available spot of his studio. Observing the drying works
surrounding him, Runge noticed how centered and balanced Master Dong is in
every position--even in the transitions from one stance to another. This
balance and centeredness is at the heart of taijiquan.
"Yoga Stretch" is a powerful triptych (4'x 6'acrylic on wood) in primary
colors representing a unique position in Runge's artistic development. During a
"Drawing from Life" class in Fall 2002, Runge asked the question: "Where does
drawing stop and painting start?" After multiple failures, this work emerged
from the process. Runge has practiced yoga intermittently since the early 70's,
but has not studied it as seriously as taiji. He plans to do other work on
yoga, which he sees as another form of self-cultivation.
"Genesis of a Drawing"
"Genesis of a Drawing" is a drawing done as Runge's final project
during Yida Wang's 'drawing from life' class Fall 2001. The idea was to show
the movement of the taiji sword practice. Runge asked friend Stephen Whitesell
to take some pictures of him, which Runge then cropped, selected and printed. He made
various drawings in different sizes over the period of several weeks, finally
settling on three large drawings, from which he made cutouts. These he hung up
and moved them into different positions, until he found the final composition.
The actual drawing was finished in one day from about 10 AM to 2 AM the next
morning. During the last hour he did nothing but erasing, lightening up areas
and softening edges to create the illusion of movement. This drawing depicts
the transition from "Spinning Left Wheel" to "Spinning Right
Wheel" of the taiji sword from.
Dieter Runge has been involved in the creative process since the early 60's,
primarily as a singer/songwriter, performer and recording artist, and in film
and video production and poster and album design. He recently graduated from
UH Manoa with bachelors degrees in Psychology and Art, and is currently enrolled
as a graduate student in the painting program at UH Manoa. He has studied
taiji and qigong since 1982 in New York City with Manta Chia, T.K.Shi, and in
Hawaii since 1991 with Zeng Chen Dong. He has been teaching taiji/qigong for
more than ten years, currently at the Kaneohe Senior and Recreation Center, the
Kailua Recreation Center, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in the
Colleges of Arts and Sciences at UH Manoa. His art teachers include Snowdon
Hodges, Ron Kowalke, Rick Bigus, Yida Wang, Ka Ning Fong Ryuda Nakajima, Pat
Hickman, and Pia Stern. Runge is also a watersports enthusiast and teaches
kitesurfing and windsurfing. He writes:
"Taiji and art are two sides of the same coin. One practices
both twenty-four hours a day. Doing taiji and being an artist means seeing,
painting, thinking, listening and soaring--all in a heightened state of awareness
and connectedness, to myself, nature, everyone and everything around me."
Digging into The Outdoor Circle
The Sally H. Edwards Archive of The Outdoor Circle
Through July 20 2004
First Floor Bridge Gallery
Since their initial meetings in 1911, the women (and post World War II,
the men) of The Outdoor Circle have been enthusiastically engaged in
"keeping Hawai'i clean, green, and beautiful".
The Outdoor Circle has, in the past 90 years, succeeded in creating
community involvement, awareness, and legislation to transform the island
environment. They have tenaciously pursued their vision, tackling issues
such as landscape and planting, billboards and signs, and litter.
The Hawai'i State Archives and Hamilton Library are collaborating in
processing the records of this historic organization. The archive is
scheduled to be available for research in January 2005.
Come see the fascinating story of The Outdoor Circle!
The Outdoor Circle Women circa 1950
Student Photography Exhibit 2004
Through September 2004
First Floor, Hamilton Library
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Photography Program presents artwork
by students in the Department of Art now on display through September
30, 2004, at the Galleries on the first floor of Hamilton Library.
The photography exhibit features nine projects dealing with a range of
thematic concerns and stylistic approaches.
The artists featured are:
Sugar Days: Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association Plantation Archives
Through November 2004
Bridge Gallery, Hamilton Library
The Hawaiian Sugar Planter's Association (HSPA) Plantation Archives is a unique collection of
records from plantations on the Hawaiian Islands of Kaua'i, O'ahu, Maui and Hawai'i. It
is a rich resource, providing detailed insight into plantation life and the sugar industry in
Hawai'i from 1850 to 1991. The Plantation Archives was created under the aegis of the HSPA, now
known as the Hawai'i Agriculture Research Center. It was donated to the Hawaiian Collection at
the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Library in 1995.
Records series include corporate records, correspondence, cultivation contracts, financial records,
personnel and payroll records, production records and other miscellaneous company records.
Working in the field
Bagging the sugar