Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts


"The Living Artist" describes Haruhisa Handa's diverse activities in the arts as analyzed by himself. He investigates why he ventured out to learn both western and eastern styles of art, and researches what it is that truly motivates him to take on such challenging activities. In this thesis, Handa begins with recollections and an evaluation of his own life. At present he is Involved In art from a wide variety of periods and cultures Including calligraphy, painting, tea ceremony, and Noh drama from Japanese culture, oil painting, composition, classical music and ballet from western culture as well as classical Chinese opera. Throughout he questions what It is that drives him into each of these areas, and returns to his elementary and junior high school days to probe for an answer. As he discusses his own history from his childhood to the present, he also analyses his own trail as a man of religion, which underpins all of his artistic ventures. After reflecting on the past, he moves through to the present, and evaluates the Influence of the Shinto religion on his artistic activities. He seeks to justify the reasons for the diverse path he has followed as both a businessman and as an artist through his understanding of Shintoism, a religion that is deeply rooted In the foundation of Japanese culture. He continues his narrative from various points of view, and reveals the methodology through which he engages in his artistic activities as well as In his primary role as a successful businessman. In particular, he evaluates his activities as a businessman and draws comparisons to his business peers and their involvement In the arts. Throughout the study Haruhisa Handa's arts practice is evidenced in his supplementary package of videos, COs and monographs that are appended to this work. Not all of Handa's activities in the arts are traditional performances or paintings; many of his projects creatively integrate religion and business. Indeed, all aspects of his life are tied together by one common factor. In this study he identifies what It is that motivates his wide-ranging artistic ventures, and in so doing reveals a unique approach to arts participation and patronage.