Floating World | Brigitte Carnochan



While rummaging through a used book store in Princeton, New Jersey, I discovered a volume of haiku and tanka translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi in 1977. The poems were by Japanese women from the 7th through the 20th centuries and represent all the major styles during this period — from the Classical to Contemporary schools. I was immediately drawn to the poems, and as I read them — so allusive and rich in imagery — I knew that I wanted to make their photographic equivalents.

The Floating World refers to the conception of a world as evanescent, impermanent, of fleeting beauty and divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world. For the poets in this volume, that world centered on love— longing for love and the beloved, mourning lost love, pondering its mystery. The beauty of the natural world — its flowers, landscape, the moon, and the changing seasons — serves as the primary metaphor.

This series is available in three sizes and is printed using archival pigment inks on uncoated Kozo (mulberry) paper handmade in Japan.

Original calligraphy by Richard Man.