How to enable an idea

Credited to Tosa Mitsuoki (1617–1691)

The documentary that I am currently working on deals with some of the most intriguing social science ideas on the planet. Designing the film I remind myself of the following quote, which although describing nature painting, could apply to other aspects of visual  communication :

When painting threes and grass, position the branches, leaves and flowers only when they are absolutely indispensable. Even then, paint a few less than seem necessary to you. It is simplistic to paint branches and leaves if they re not necessary. When reproducing the pattern and draperies of attire, it is better to use but a few lines to mark them. Whatever you paint do not describe all the details. The best way is to express the full meaning through a few suggestions. A mediocre artist does not know how to convey meaning; in consequence his work - full of detailed descriptions - produces an impression that something is missing. A master’s work, containing just a few details, enables the idea to speak on its own, thus making its self manifestation possible.”       

Tosa Mitsuoki 

1 comment:

  1. I guess James Cameron's AVATAR is the ultimate opposite to this proposed aesthetic: excess takes place of moderation and sensual overload counts for the whole effect. I kind of side with both types, recognizing that each sheds light on different trait of human mind & heart. But I find that to most people they are impossible to reconcile. That's why I find so many of my friends shocked when they hear I love, for example, both Cameron and Ozu.