From the Bamboo Forests of the Night

From the Bamboo Forests of the Night cut paper art by Patrick Gannonsize: 8 x 10 inches
medium: cut paper on board
private collection

Good old William Blake knew what he was talking about. Entangled in the vines and bamboo of the shadowy forest, no other animal has quite the same combination of feline grace and stealthy, coiled threat as the tiger.

虎視眈々 (koshitantan) is a yojijukugo, a Japanese idiom made up of four kanji. In this case, 虎 (ko)=tiger; 視 (shi)=eye or gaze, and 眈々 (tantan; the second character repeats the sound of the first) = to aim with ambition. Together, they mean to wait patiently while ambitiously keeping your eyes peeled for the opportunity to strike. That sure sounds like a tiger to me.

The tiger is the third animal in the Chinese (and Japanese) zodiac. I’m not sure why s/he didn’t just eat the mouse and the cow and grab first place. This particular tiger is also the second preview from The Way of Flow running from December 4, 2009 – January 2, 2010 at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Venice, CA.


  1. Juan Jmanu’s avatar

    Hi pal,
    This is amazing, Patrick: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
    My admiration for your work, that’s beautiful

    Take care

  2. Jose’s avatar

    That’s amazing, I’ve never seen anything like your work. Very cool.

  3. jacqueline c’s avatar

    Your style is wonderful! Really remarkable, I love it. The asymmetrical layout here is super nice, too.

  4. Josh Billings’s avatar

    This piece is amazing. I was also very impressed with “The Flow” piece. I have not stopped by for a while and I am glad I returned to see your growth as an artist.

    1. Patrick’s avatar

      Thanks Josh. I’ve been trying to push my drawing, cutting and concepts in some new ways lately. Good to know that it’s working!

    2. Bridget’s avatar

      Ah ha! Here’s the tiger! Wow and double wow! This is spectacular. Jorge Luis Borges wrote many poems about tigers too; enigmatic, mysterious poems. Just can’t get over how amazing this is!

    3. moverlow’s avatar

      Incredible. I haven’t seen anything like this. Wow!

    4. Patrick’s avatar

      Thanks everyone, for the kind comments! This piece started out drastically different than it ended up, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Glad you enjoy it. Gonna have to look up Jorge Luis Borges, tho truth be told, I’ve always been more of a prose than poetry kinda guy.

      1. L Dahl’s avatar

        Well, this is just stunning! “wait patiently while ambitiously keeping your eyes peeled for the opportunity to strike” that sounds as tightly coiled with energy as your piece.

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