i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
--e. e. cummings, "i carry your heart with me"
I miss UCLA, but I think that I spend more time talking about missing UCLA than I actually spend missing the place. Besides, I make as many visits back as possible. My friend Kuan was in town this past week, just returned from being abroad in Japan for a year. And, partly because he studied art, we decided to attend an artist lecture at the Hammer Museum.
Artist Amy Sillman spoke about her working process for abstract painting. Often, she sketches people from life, then putting the drawings away to work from memory. After several generations of drawings and paintings, the finished works are about form and color. The "people" seem architectural--very similar to buildings, in fact--and there may be only one or two of the original defining details. For instance, a woman's uniquely-shaped eye may remain, and its lasting existence creates prominent importance.
After the lecture, Kuan and I went for a dinner of Japanese food at a restaurant on Sawtelle Boulevard, one of Los Angeles' "Japanese districts." Many UCLA students would tell you that the location of the campus, near many L.A. cultural spots, lends to its specialness. Not long ago, I was again in the UCLA area, to see a Japanese film made in 1965 called "Kwaidan." Besides being delighted with the film's use of Japanese folklore stories and backgrounds with skies that appear to be painted by hand in striking colors, I was impressed with the unique theater on Fairfax Avenue. "The Cinefamily" also shows silent movies, but you don't have to be a film follower to enjoy this theater's cozy clubhouse feeling.
These pictures of my sister were taken during yet another visit back to the university, at a couple of the great brick buildings on campus. Noticing the outfit's contemporary art appeal, we also took our camera to the sculpture garden. One of the pictures that did not make it into this post is when I told Autumn to stand in front of the "praying mantis." Although the sculpture that I was referring to is not necessarily representative of that type of insect, Autumn knew which one I meant, which shows that she and I think alike.
Autumn's dress is by half-Japanese-descent designer, Trina Turk, whose website aptly describes her fashions:
Inspired by the multicultural mix, architecture, and landscape of Los Angeles and California, The Trina Turk Collection is full of the Season’s most casually sophisticated and 'must have' silhouettes. Trina’s philosophy is to create wearable, optimistic fashion that incorporates the best aspects of classic American sportswear.To me, Autumn's clothes' modern design makes my sister's dark eyes and brows seem even more distinct.
One last anecdote: Autumn asked my brother lately, "Do you think that my arm muscles are getting bigger?" as she gave a demonstration flex. "Why?" I interjected, somewhat confused. Autumn explained that she's been carrying two heavy school bags across the length and breadth of the hilly Westwood campus.
UCLA students only get stronger, it seems.