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  • Ray Monde

Rediscovering Japan on the back roads of Australia

69 stations of the kisokaido

I’ve often spoken of the serendipity of creativity – how our heads suck in every thing we experience – sights, sounds, tastes, colours, moments and jumbles them up to create something new.

Last year, I stopped over in Japan on the way back to Australia for a couple of days to break up the 26 hour flight and it was there I saw wood block prints of the 69 stations of the Kisokaido.

Hiroshige artwork

The stations are tradition posts or stopping points along the highway from the capital city. For some reason, these prints really stuck with me. There's a wonderful romantic idea of walking a path, taking a pilgrimage, to savour the travelling as much as the destination.

Back home in Australia, I was travelling home along the King's Highway when I saw the landforms and landmarks out the car window in a completely different way.

I saw them as rest points - stopping points - between Australia's capital and the seaside. And I began to take quick snaps out of the car window.

Photo by Ray Monde of Warri Warri bridge

It occurred to me, I could create artworks with an Australian twist on the Kisokaido, I could create imagined resting points along the King's Highway and reinterpret them for today's living.

There are natural places that traveller's take a break, sometimes to camp, sometimes to eat, sometimes to take in the scenery.

Photo of pines by Ray Monde

I've got a lot in my head, a lot of ground to cover, but first I need to get some preliminary sketches down and see if this seed of an idea will germinate into something special. I'll keep you posted, can't wait to get into it!

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