Place, Art, and Self (Paperback)
Center for American Places, 9781930066243, 96pp.
Publication Date: June 4, 2004
"What do place, art, and self have in common? To what extent do place and art define who we are?" In Place, Art, and Self, the renowned humanistic geographer Yi-Fu Tuan tackles this large question in a small, accessible, beautifully illustrated book. Through memoir and the insights gained from a peripatetic life as an international scholar, Tuan explores the idea of attachment through place and art and the role of attachment in shaping, defining, and expanding the self.
Inasmuch as a place contains sources of "nurture and identity," Tuan writes, so, too, does a painting, photograph, poem, novel, motion picture, dance, or piece of music. "The arts are likewise emblematic and revelatory. The ones I strongly like and dislike expose me, make me feel naked before the public eye, which is why I am guarded in my confessions."
Drawing from a lifetime spent thinking and writing about the connection between geography and our spiritual needs, Tuan presents a compelling and meditative foray into how place, home, and homelessness condition us as humans. Complementing his essay is a gallery of fine-art black-and-white and color plates by four emerging contemporary photographers, whose work accords with Tuan's message.