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Redenga: Karina Klesko & Linda Papanicolaou

Linda and Karina write:

Graphic renga is a collaborative art form that was developed by Toshihiro Anzai and Rieko Nakamura in 1992 (http://www.renga.com/). A truly Internet-based performance art, it combines digital art and classical linked poetry. Renga participants exchange digital artworks, altering each image as it is received to create a new work of art. The resulting series of linked images is thus a visual expression of the transmission of artistic ideas between participants.

There are few rules in graphic renga. Images may be altered by manipulating and changing the received image, by adding new motifs to it, or by inserting it as a motif in a wholly new composition. Unlike classical linked poetry, there are no rules against backlinking. The theme of the renga, the number of images and the order in which they will be passed are decided by the participants. There is no poetry as such, although images may be titled.

We learned about graphic renga when Carol Raisfeld introduced it on WHChaikumultimedia and have been composing as a duo since then. Redenga is one of our first efforts. In its six-image length and color palette dominated by red, it has similarities to two forms of linked poetry :the rengay, a North American variant of the Japanese linked verse form named for its inventor, Gary Gay, and colorenga, a form of 12 one-line verses composed on a color theme.

The difference is that Redenga is a graphic renga. The Images were composed first and it is they that are linked. Each Image has below it a one line haiku. The verses were composed after the full set of images was complete and do not therefore constitute a stand-alone rengay. What is interesting is how they reflect the working process. They are not simply captions for their own respective Images but also in many ways link to the Images before and after, adding new layers of meaning to the artistic themes developed in the images.


Karina Klesko, USA, enjoys writing, nature walks, music. Among her various collections are Japanese netsuke and tear bottles. Poetry is her passion. She loves to write and read all styles of poetry. Karina has numerous publications of haiku and haiga in haiku journals.

Linda Papanicolaou is a middle school art teacher in California and lives on the campus of Stanford University, where her husband is a professor. She has had works published in Haigaonline, Simply Haiku and The World Haiku Review. She also contributes to the World Tempos Journal. She is assistant director of the World Haiku Club’s multimedia forum and participates in several online haiku, poetry and art education lists.