The Symbolism of Water in Memoirs of a Geisha

Day 32: 28. Water

“I can see you have a great deal of water in your personality. Water never waits. It changes shape and flows around things, and finds the secret paths no one else has thought about — the tiny hole through the roof or the bottom of the box. There’s no doubt it’s the most versatile of the five elements. It can wash away earth; it can put out fire; it can wear a piece of metal down and sweep it away. Even wood, which is its natural complement, can’t survive without being nurtured by water. And yet, you haven’t drawn on those strengths in living your life, have you?”

-Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

One of my favorite stories lies in the pages of Memoirs of a Geisha. I remember when I first read this story and how much I loved the poetry used in the dialogue for the main character, Sayuri. When this novel made its way to a bigger picture in a theater, I was happy to see the artistry come alive from the novel that I once cherished. Steven Spielberg produced the film and I could see his touch on certain scenes that enhanced the overall appeal of the film. Besides the artistic concept of the book and the film, I always liked the quote about Sayuri having the element of water in her personality. Her blue eyes were a tell all of water and this is showcased in the many times she tried to escape the life that was forced on her. I was intrigued about the movement of water and how it can transform a photograph or a scene. Water can be calm and peaceful, or rocky and volcanic depending on the circumstances.

In this photo, there is a sense of a middle ground of the many ways water can be depicted. The stream at the top seems linear and the movement on the bottom appears to look disruptive. The key to a good depiction of water is to have bubbles or droplets that showcase life or movement. This changes when photographing a landscape or if the focus is beyond the stillness of the water.

This challenge is completed: 28. Water



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