• Charles
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UCSD, Cornell University
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Hey, I’m Charles!

Silicon Valley · Member since December 2013
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A couple of years ago I was able to observe prints of Hokusai's 36 Views of Mt. Fuji at the New Otani Art Museum. They were striking -- small, but brilliant and rich in luminance. Having seen Red Fuji and Great Wave so many times in popular media and in amateur reproductions, I was deceived of the actual wood-print granularity. So you can imagine that I was quite shocked at the level of detail; you could see individual leaves, facial expressions, and slopes and paths on the mountain impressed by the grains of the wood! And the size was so fitting; it was small enough such that you'd always view these images at a distance, observing the overall contrast emphasizing the rule-of-thirds. And the composition! The composition of each and every piece evoked a muted feeling of motion; it was as if you were perceiving Edo life in a tiny cinemagraph window. And the colors! Up close, the reds were no longer red. They were, instead, a gradient of stained-wood hues, perhaps, depicting the volcano-textured cliffs of the mountain itself! It was then that I realized that the continuing appeal of Hokusai's works is a testament that composition, color, and simple descriptions of universal forms are all elements of human truth.