What does it mean to be at sea?
Literally, it means to be away from land. Figuratively, it means to have no path; it means confusion and disorientation. That's what is captured in a 1915 Japanese work of art by Hashio Kiyoshi, now on view at the Asia Society Museum in New York City. Titled “Morning Sea,” it’s a silk-on-silk embroidery of waves — aggressive, savage waves that create a sense of total turbulence. Writer Gish Jen describes the experience of seeing this expanse of ocean as overpowering and profound.
At the time, Japan, which had deliberately kept itself isolated, was opening its ocean to trade. It was starting to westernize, and the pillars of society that had anchored Japan were collapsing. Gish Jen joins host and GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen on The Culture Show to talk about why this work of art resonates today and the hope art can give us amid these turbulent times.
From there, it’s the fun that art can bring. Artist Tina Burner and Jonathan Hawkins, the owner of the Crown and Anchor, join the show to discuss "Provincetown Follies," a Provincetown-inspired holiday album with a queer twist benefiting artistic spaces.
Finally, the show wraps up with a call from Victor Infante, features editor of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and editor of Worcester Magazine, who discusses the arts and culture scene in central Massachusetts.
It's all on The Culture Show — listen to the full episode above.