Art & Design

Zen Calligraphy and the Art of Life

6 July 2015, London

Zen art is called bokuseki, literally “ink traces”. Within the culture of East Asia, mastery of the brush encompasses the highest of all art-forms. There is a long-standing tradition (as there is also in the west) that the character is communicated directly through the writing. Calligraphy and drawing are used equally to directly transmit the master’s mind-state.

The bokuseki style is typically characterised by bold, assertive, and informal brush strokes embodying the calligrapher’s enlightened presence. Technique, clarity and comprehensibility are all considered less important than this directness. Both the words of the calligraphy and the way they are brushed are inspiring or intriguing even to one who is not interested in Zen as a philosophy or religion. In the image here we see Shinzan R?shi working effortlessly to express his true nature. In modern times, bokuseki have been recognised as one of the glories of world culture.

This event at the Foundation is timed to coincide with the week of his 80th birthday, and will follow a larger exhibition of his work at Yugagyo Dojo in south London. Daizan Roshi will introduce Zen Master Shinzan’s artworks, giving some art-historical and cultural background. This will be followed by a demonstration of the art of the Zen brush.


Contributors: Shinzan Miyamae, Dr Barbara J Gabrys, Julian Daizan Skinner

6 July 2015, 6.00 - 7.00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP UK

Tel: 020 7486 4348 Fax: 020 7486 2914

Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation