You have my breath now;
It was never mine, and it
Was always silent.
To the music of Der Abschied by Vladimir Martynov, butoh performer Adam Wojcinski created a deeply moving experience for the guests at the Playboy Takes Tea event described here. Inspired by his experience with the Ueda Sōko tradition of samurai tea and the emotive beauty of Maio Motoko’s magnificent folding screen Resilience II, Adam manifested ‘the beauty behind decay’, in a tribute to the death of samurai warlord Ueda Sōko.
The beauty of transience, of decay, is an idea resonant with Zen Buddhism, much of Japanese aesthetics and thinking, and an articulated part of Maio Motoko’s conceptual approach to her work. Maio’s 12-fold screen, an affectionately nostalgic soft pink, depicts in abstract, fallen cherry blossoms banking up on the edges of ponds to form ‘floating bridges’. Most of our readers will be aware that the transience of the cherry blossom is symbolic of the life of the samurai, and that the ‘floating world’ of the Edo period referred also to transience – in Buddhism and in the hedonistic world of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters- thus creating a perfect complement and backdrop to the theme and performance of Adam’s butoh performance.