Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.
[Translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English, with Toinette Lippe]
It would never have occurred to me to paint a blossom that was almost out of view and my heart gave a great leap. I saw in that moment that there were countless ways of seeing things differently from the way I usually did. In the West...[it] wouldn't occur to us not to paint the whole flower. We search for a way to get it all into the picture, even if this means making everything smaller so that it will fit.
Toinette then notes that when Ike no Taiga, an 18th-century Japanese painter and calligrapher, was asked, "What is the most difficult thing to paint?" he responded, "The part that is not painted."
When you create your artwork--painting, poetry, music, etc.--what do you aim for: more space or less space? Why?
What are you drawn to in art--exuberantly filled canvases? simple, spare abstracts? haiku poems? extended symphonies? Do you know what it is about them that makes you interested or gives you pleasure?