June 27, 2008

petit monsieur

I recently read an article about travelling and they say that the worlds best travellers are the Japanese. Yesterday, after hearing two generation of the travelling stories from my Japanese friend Toru , I should say indeed they are the best travellers. More than 32 years back (before Toru was born) Toru's grandfather Mr.Yamasaki, a retired high school art teacher, also fondly called as 'petit monsieur', started travelling around the world with is painting kit and frozen the colours of Europe,Asia and America in his canvas. After 32 years his grandson carrying his grandfather's paintings and photographs is trying to rediscover the places, the people who modeled for the paintings and even some of his grandfathers paintings hanging in in cafes and galleries. It was amazing to see the photos and painting collection of Paris in 70s, believe me nothing changed in Paris for more than 30 years, the streets, the terrace cafe and even the chairs of the garden are just the same. The most impressive part was his grandfather's devotion towards art, when he was 60 he met with an accident and lost the ability to paint with his right hand and so the next 15 years he learned and painted using his left hand it seems! Yesterday evening during our French class farewell drink, Toru showed us two painting books, one with paintings painted using right and the other using the left hand. We had a nice evening talking in french with our french teacher and her friend, who was even able to spot her current appartment in one of 70's paintings!

In the above photo is Mr. Yamasaki painting with his left hand in canal saint-martin, taken in 1976 (photo taken from : http://www.petit-monsieur.com/gallery/index.htm)

Below are some photos from yesterday evening with my french class students and the teacher in the 'intellectual's square' (Place de la Sorbonne ).


Toru said...

Thank you for intoroduce!
Its nice blog.
I am not looking at all yet、May 31. 2008 is funny.

See you!

Swati G. said...

very interesting !

Swati G. said...

very interesting !

Anonymous said...

Hey Uma,

your French teacher was my examiner ... She's nice, also cos she didn't count some of the mistakes I did in my "examen ecrit" and of course I didn't remark on those lol ;P