Note: Occasionally we have overseas students joining local students at the Twin Bridget Studio. International student admission is decided on a case by case basis depending on student needs and studio capacity. We recently had Aqeel from India and Osamu from Japan joining us. Below is a blog post written by Osamu sharing his experience studying in Taipei. Aqeel studied at the Twin Bridge Studio in Taipei in August and September 2017. This is his second time visiting Taipei. For more information about Osamu Tanimoto, please visit his website at www.osamugiovannitanimoto.com.
My name is Osamu Giovanni Tanimoto, a Japanese painter that resides in Florence, Italy. I studied in the Russian Academic tradition in painting and drawing and I have been specializing in the narrative paintings (mostly about religious themes and converted to Catholicism). I was looking for an approach to drawing and painting more perceptional and artistic with a solid procedure. By chance, I found the drawing demonstration by Yim Maukun on Youtube. I became curious about him and went to his website right away. His painting on the homepage immediately filled me with joy and enthusiasm. The painting was his multi-figure composition on the Taiwanese immigrants in the storm. He paints the souls of human beings with the form, the light, and the color!
I contacted Mr.Yim immediately and her daughter Iris responded me in English. After some discussions, he accepted me as an student. Five days after I was on the air to Taipei with such enthusiasm. That was the start of 2 summers of my study under him.
Yim Maukun’s teaching as well as his art have been transformative for me to be freer in the process of making art as well as the results as artworks. There was so much I learned and still digesting and putting it into practice in Florence but I would like to share some of the learnings here.
I remember well the first time, I stepped in his teaching studio. With the classical music from the radio, bust sculptures displayed for drawing, I saw his painting of young man and woman on the motorcycle in Taipei city at night. It was a very beautiful painterly painting. Mr. Yim welcomed me and set me up. Many students were there, mainly from Taipei and some from HongKong.
On this first trip, I had a habit of using curves in my drawing of cast/portrait. He was a great teacher and introduced something new to me to change my habit. He taught me to use long straight lines instead of curves which allow me to construct the form and take care of perspective. It was great insight to me to know the softness and sweetness of his art come from this solid construction. I continue to practice this.
A year later on the second trip, I had a similar tendency but a bit different one, which is smoothening out the transition of planes within the form for the cast/portrait. He taught us that painting is not like a photograph. He told me to bend planes in angles in drawing even on the spherical form explaining to me by the gesture of his hands. The benefit of this training was great. It forced me to analyze planes and outlines with more attention and interpret the form/ the space. Drawing becomes even more engaging to me.
I had many opportunities to paint also plein-air with fellow students Sujuan, Kwang who have been studying under Yim Maukun for a long time. Mr. Yim kindly gave me advices when I showed those plein-airs to him. He taught me to paint with thicker strokes especially for the small format as I had a tendency to use thinner paints.
The discovery of the art of brushstrokes in the representational art was so great. He taught us to create an image which can be remembered, which is different from a photograph in essence and appearance. The interpretation of an artist lies in the art of brushstroke as the brushstrokes are not on the physical form such as on buildings, grounds, mountains or flowers, bases etc… Also there is a musical quality in it.
As for the color, on the first trip I needed to overcome and learn the correct way to use white to have good color relationships as I had had a tendency to use too much white. On the 2nd trip, I had a tendency to make one mass of colors very similar within. He taught me to have different colors and strokes within. Again, this forced me to interpret colors with more attention to convey artistic thought, feeling etc.
The best experience I had is that when he draw and paint on my canvas as well as his demonstration; the master at work! After him, I just tried to see what he saw, simple enough to say but difficult to do it well. It’s amazing that what he draws or paints is not just about precision but about making an artistic image on paper or on canvas. He sometimes joked that he wants to give his eyes to us to see what he sees. In his demonstration, it was fascinating to see that he is so creative that he painted each painting in varied manners according to the subjects or feeling he perceived. Every stroke revealed its beauty of the image.
On the second trip, the book on drawing “Lessons in Masterful Portrait Drawing”by Maukun and Iris Yim accompanied my individual studies in Mr. Yim’s teaching studio. The book definitely helped me to understand his approach and philosophy towards art as it’s written in English. It complemented what I saw and practice during the class. I appreciate so much that he kindly made me and some other international students to practice what we learned during this short stay in his teaching studio.
I was and am still so grateful to have my favorite artist as a teacher. I practice daily what I learned here in Florence and try to pass it onto my students. Also I thank Iris as she bridged me to the master and helped my trip organized as well as Ruth, Sujuan who helped me as well. Looking forward to my third trip to Taipei to further study under Yim Maukun. Thank you.