Rurubu (meaning “to dance and flow slowly” in Japanese) is a collaborative project by Toronto-based photographer Haley Friesen and San Francisco-based calligraphy artist Nobuhiro Sato that explores the powerful expressions of body movement coupled with energetic strokes of ink. The multiple mediums applied to this project complement each other, heightening the dynamic, visual effect of motion.
First, ballet dancers Kathleen Legassick and Meaghan Silva served as models for the series, elegantly expressing emotions through the art of dance, which Friesen caught on her digital camera. The images were then printed on watercolor paper and shipped to Sato, who proceeded to paint Japanese calligraphy over them with Sumi ink.
Friesen says, “I've always considered Japanese characters to have a strong resemblance to dancers and motion. There's something about the sweeping gestures and graceful twists that make the slashes and splatters of hiragana and katana ink characters appear as a choreographed dance to my eyes. I'm sure this concept is much more effective –or perhaps just effective in a different manner- to those who are illiterate in Japanese.”