So many things across my mind as I recently came back from Taiwan. I’m still ordering all the sories collected to write a wonderful carnet the voyage, but in the meanwhile, Italy provided me sad but interesting art updates. So here I’m about to share these soft stories, like heart waves for those involved.
Serendipity was a library, located in Bologna, entirely dedicated to Asia and Africa, run by two women. The collection originated by
a donation made by François Cheng. Due to financial, cultural and other sort of problems, it’s now closed. A very sad moment, as I can remember the evenings with international events, and the smiles of everybody. I also made a lovely radio documentary about their experience and other creative female reality like Africa Design. But luckily, Italians still know how to help and they organized a little charity marathon to join together fashion and books, to save money for a new project someday. Hope Etta Polico, the owner, will make it, but I don’t know if it will be in Bologna or somewhere else.
Tama Kiyohara (1861-1939) was a japanese painter who married an Italian sculptor called Vincenzo Ragusa. Therefore she took the name of Eleonora Ragusa. Together they lived in Italy for 50 years. Great masterpieces were produced over this period but lots of them were lost during World war 2. She became the vice principal of an art school Ragusa opened in his hometown of Palermo, Sicily, and also worked actively there as a painter. In 1928, Ragusa died, and after a newspaper company in Japan found out about Tama and published a novel about her story, she returned to Japan in 1933. She changed her name back to Kiyohara in her last years and lived in her birth home in Shiba Shinbori. A great collection of more than 4000 art objects was donated by her to the etnographic Pigorini Museum in Rome but it’s not possible to visit it. Now the japanese television is making a documentary about her life.
Two stories of passion and love for art that connect Asia and Italy. I hope to collect as much stories like these ones that I can, to share with all of you. Even if there isn’t always a happy ending, still we learn a lot about love, strength and passion for arts