Japanese-American Ron L. Zheng award-winning author, photographer, poet and graphic designer combines traditional Japanese tanka poetry with black & white photography in Ode to the Cities: A Poetography Exhibit. By joining the lens with written verse, viewers are given a glimpse into the heart and mind of Zheng whose words and photos touch upon themes surrounding the nature of the human condition.
Zheng uses imagery familiar to us all, yet each photo has a quality reminiscent of ancient Chinese black ink paintings. Each image is accompanied by a Tanka poem, consisting of five lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. Although the form of these poems is centuries old, the narratives told by Zheng are stories from contemporary life.
Even without the photographic images, Zheng's tanka poems remain strong and vivid, telling emotionally intense and personal stories of his life.