Tabaimo’s immersive, haunting video installations delve into the complex contemporary psyche, exploring themes of isolation, anxiety, and malaise. Surreal and a little unnerving, lovely and delicate and nightmarish, they are evocative of traditional Japanese woodblock prints and combine hand-drawing with computer animation. An exhibition of Tabaimo’s works is currently at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

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The Color of Pomegranates

The Color of Pomegranates is an exquisite cinematic experience, quietly, abstractly dazzling and chimerical. This beautiful avant-garde 1968 Armenian film by director Sergei Parajanov is a non-narrative, impressionistic, and highly stylized biography of 18th-century poet Sayat-Nova. Composed of a series of moving tableaux or vignettes and prominently featuring Parajanov’s muse, the enigmatic beauty Sofiko Chiaureli, the movie is divided into eight chapters: Childhood, Youth, The Prince’s Court, The Monastery, The Dream, Old Age, The Angel of Death, and Death. It has little dialogue, though there are sound and music. Existing almost as pure visual poetry, it extravagantly abounds with surreal, symbolic imagery and is such a distinct piece of visionary cinema.


The Sonnets to Orpheus: XXV by Rainer Maria Rilke

But you now, dear girl, whom I loved like a flower whose
I didn’t know, you who so early were taken away:
I will once more call up your image and show it to them,
beautiful companion of the unsubduable cry.

Dancer whose body filled with your hesitant fate,
pausing, as though your young flesh had been cast in bronze;
grieving and listening–. Then, from the high dominions,
unearthly music fell into your altered heart.

Already possessed by shadows, with illness near,
your blood flowed darkly; yet, though for a moment
it burst out into the natural pulses of spring.

Again and again interrupted by downfall and darkness,
earthly, it gleamed. Till, after a terrible pounding,
it entered the inconsolably open door.

– Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)