Haiga (俳画) is a refined visual art of combining brush painting, haiku, and calligraphy. A traditional haiga requires all three of these elements. Just as haiku succeeds by creating space and energy in the relationship of its two juxtaposed parts, haiga creates interest through the “leap” or even disjunction between the poem and the painting (the painting is typically not just an illustration of the poem, nor is the poem a caption for the image). Haiga also seeks to create a pleasing visual whole with the use of calligraphy—whether highly refined and formal, or ordinary and home-spun. In haiga, it is important to feel “the hand of the poet.” Modern haiga sometimes replaces one of the three required elements, such as by using a photograph instead of a painting (also called photo-haiga, known in Japan as shahai, or 写俳, to differentiate it from traditional haiga), or by typesetting words on a computer instead of using calligraphy. Some purists do not consider these variations to be authentic haiga, but they are increasingly popular as poets and photographers become more accustomed to computer technology and its possibilities. While traditional haiga will continue to require brush painting, haiku, and calligraphy, artists and poets have explored many additional combinations with pleasing results, such as using collage and other mixed-media presentations, sometimes with the poem outside the image. [Read a version of the preceding text in Simplified Chinese.] This page presents links to haiga galleries featuring my haiku with artwork created by several different artists.
The following galleries feature my photo-haiga.
Free Thinking (Haiga Online)
Gathering Rosebuds (Haiga Online)
12 neon buddhas (Wales Haiku Journal)
Photo-haiga from With Cherries on Top (my photographs with haiku by others; the entire book features my photos)
The following galleries feature my haiku with artwork by various artists. My thanks to each artist for his or her work.
Linking and Leaping: A Haiga Primer [short essay]
“A Street-Guided Meditation” by Noam Oren [short video featuring one of my haiku, also shown below]
See also Open Window, a collection of my photographs with haiku. See also Dense Fog and Tarnished Silver (two photo interpretations of my haiku) and Jumble Box Haiga Selections. And check out Mike Rehling’s “Introduction to Haiga” video on YouTube.