There is the story of the infant Krishna, wrongly accused of eating a bit of dirt. His mother, Yashoda, coming up to him with a wagging finger, scolds him: “You shouldn’t eat dirt, you naughty boy.” “But I haven’t,” says the unchallenged lord of all and everything, disguised as a frightened human child. “Open your mouth,” orders Yashoda. Krishna does as he is told. He opens his mouth and Yashoda gasps.

She sees in Krishna’s mouth the whole complete entire timeless universe, all the stars and planets of space and the distance between them, all the lands and seas of the earth and the life in them; she sees all the days of yesterday and all the days of tomorrow; she sees all ideas and all emotions, all pity and all hope, and the three strands of matter; not a pebble, candle, creature, village or galaxy is missing, including herself and every bit of dirt in its truthful place. “My Lord, you can close your mouth," she says reverently.

In any part of the universe there is a whole universe: Hamlet saw the infinite space in a nutshell; William Blake saw a world in a grain of sand, a heaven in a wild flower, and eternity in an hour.

Humans are the universe pretending to be isolated individuals. Our reality, as we know it, is the result of what is observed—the beholder, and his point of view. Therefore, lines of thought such as the Western and Asian ones create different realities from a common universe.

The Asian aesthetics and philosophical interpretation of the world amaze and marvel westerners. Asian aesthetics and philosophy seem very different from ours, and yet both the Asian and Western thought have a simultaneous origin. Reviewing the Western thinkers, we can find in their philosophy motivations that are also common to the Asian thinkers.

If we take a look at the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers of the Milesian school, we discover a motivation shared by the Japanese: nature.

The ideals and concepts of Japanese aesthetics are primarily influenced by religion. Both in Shinto and Buddhism, the Gods are not the creators of nature, but nature is an individual entity. In our Western tradition, the Judeo-Christian concept of God or Creator broke this link and made us separate from the traditional aesthetic ideals of ancient Greece.

Regarding India, any systematic comparative study of its aesthetics and that of the Western starts from Aristotle’s Poetics and Bharata’s (200 BCE-200CE) Natyasastra.  What Aristotle is to the Western tradition of aesthetics, Bharata is to the Indian tradition. The most significant finding of Aristotle in Poetics is his doctrine of catharsis whereas for Bharata the essence of aesthetics lies in bhava (emotions) and rasa (sentiments).

Using photography and our imagination, we can explain concepts that are hidden from our perception. We need this tool to generate visual metaphors that help us understand our reality, what we are and what the world around us is like.

Photographing these images we are not describing the element that appears; but the experience of universal multiplicity generated by them. By means of photography, we are able to communicate the same message to people with different cultural references.


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