Tag Archives: Calligraphy

Book Review: Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism

from Buddhadharma
Koun Franz
May 20, 2013

Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese BuddhismKukai and Dogen on the Art of Enlightenment
By Pamela D. Winfield
Oxford University Press, 2013 240 pages; $27.95

When I was a novice at Shogoji monastery, every day I passed by some framed calligraphy by the main doors of the dharma hall, excerpts from theTen Examples of Suchness (junyoze). For weeks, I gave it no attention at all; the schedule was strict, and there was always somewhere else to be. Then one day I looked at it and almost jumped—every Chinese character was also a picture in itself. Instead of the two-stroke character for “person,” there was an intricate painting of an actual man; the character for body, intended in the text to mean “substance,” was crafted out of a butterfly in flight. I don’t know how many times I came back to this bit of writing on the wall, but every time I did, every time I looked closer, I found some small detail that had always been there, some subtle new way in which the text had always been revealing itself.

When art is also a teaching, or when a teaching is presented as art, what are the possibilities, and limitations, of that expression? Can we express enlightenment visually? Can we facilitate enlightenment through an image? These questions are a starting point for how we might understand Buddhist art, and they go to the heart of Pamela Winfield’s Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism. This ambitious and scholarly work explores the refined aesthetics of two highly original teachers who revolutionized not only their own traditions but also Japanese Buddhism as a whole. Continue reading

Master [Tibetan] calligrapher Tashi Mannox to open UK gallery

Shambala Sun
23 August

British calligraphy artist Tashi Mannox, a specialist in traditional and contemporary interpretations of Tibetan-related scripts and iconography and the go-to master for many Buddhist tattoo designs, will open his first UK gallery and shop August 30 in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire. The Tashi Gallery will feature Mannox’s original works and limited-edition prints, demonstrating both his rigorous classical discipline and creative re-envisioning of Himalayan Buddhist motifs. Mannox’s bespoke seal designs (sometimes colloquially referred to as “chops”) will also be on offer, including specialty vermillion seal inks he created in collaboration with Japan’s oldest masters of that tradition.

Visit Tashi Mannox’s image-rich site here.

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NY Exhibit: Expressive Art of Japanese Calligraphy [until 12 January 2014]

Broadway World
August 16, 2013

BRUSH WRITING IN THE ARTS OF JAPAN Opens 8/17 at the Met Museum

Expressive Art of Japanese Calligraphy will be on view in an exhibition opening tomorrow, August 17, at the Metropolitan Museum. The show will be on view August 17, 2013 – January 12, 2014 in The Sackler Wing Galleries for the Arts of Japan, second floor Galleries 223-232.

Handwriting was thought to reflect one’s personality in the East Asian tradition, but not in the sense of Western graphology or “handwriting analysis.” Rather, through copying of revered models and through creative innovation, handwriting style conveyed one’s literary education, cultural refinement, and carefully nurtured aesthetic sensibilities. Continue reading

[Met Museum Exhibit]: Expressive Art of Japanese Calligraphy [Aug 17, 2013 – Jan 12, 2014]

Broadway World
16 August, 2013

Expressive Art of Japanese Calligraphy will be on view in an exhibition opening tomorrow, August 17, at the Metropolitan Museum. The show will be on view August 17, 2013 – January 12, 2014 in The Sackler Wing Galleries for the Arts of Japan, second floor Galleries 223-232.

Handwriting was thought to reflect one’s personality in the East Asian tradition, but not in the sense of Western graphology or “handwriting analysis.” Rather, through copying of revered models and through creative innovation, handwriting style conveyed one’s literary education, cultural refinement, and carefully nurtured aesthetic sensibilities.

Showcasing more than 80 masterworks of brush-inscribed Japanese characters-some serving as independent works of art and others enhanced by decorated papers or by paintings-the exhibition Brush Writing in the Arts of Japan takes a close look at the original gestural movement marked in each work, by analyzing the applied pressure, speed, and rhythm that are said to be the reflection of the artist’s state of mind.

The works on view, dating from the 11th century to the present, demonstrates that beauty was often the supreme motive in the rendering of Japanese religious or literary texts, even at the expense of legibility. These works are complemented by some 100 ceramics, textiles, lacquers, woodblock prints, and illustrated books that are closely related to the art of brush writing. Continue reading

Shandong, China Exhibit: Art and artifacts that span dynasties [until 18 June 2013]

China Daily
2013 May 21

Art and artifacts that span dynasties

Buddha carvings from the Northern Wei Dynasty.

Some 147 garments and clothing ornaments from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties are on display at the Shandong Museum providing a rare opportunity for first-hand study of traditional Chinese costumes.

It is the first time an exhibit of clothing worn by nobles, emperors and average people from the two dynasties have been shown in China simultaneously. It will probably be the last for a decade due to concerns over the preservation of priceless items, said Fang Hongjun, an expert from the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Paintings and calligraphy from the two dynasties are also part of the show that opened on May 18, the same date as International Museum Day.

Held at the museum in the provincial capital Jinan, the event is scheduled to end on June 18. Continue reading

Korea Exhibits: Art plays big part in Buddha’s Birthday

Joongang Daily
May 04,2013

Calligraphy by Buddhist master Tanheo is on display at the National Museum of Korea. Provided by the museum

The Korean art community is also embracing the upcoming Buddha’s birthday, with a string of Buddhist art-related exhibition.

The National Museum of Korea, for instance, is holding an exhibition titled “Calligraphy of Korean Zen Masters: Hanam and Tanheo of Woljeongsa Temple.” The exhibition displays 80 calligraphy pieces of respected Buddhist masters, Hanam (1876-1951) and Tanheo (1913-1983) of Woljeong Temple (or Woljeongsa Temple) in Pyeongchang, Gangwon. Continue reading

Hereford, UK Exhibit: Tashi Mannox’s Illuminated (04 May – 30 June 2013)

Mannow Valley Arts Centre

Tashi Hog

Tashi Mannox was born in Birmingham and studied art at Bournville School of Art followed by a BA Hons at Lancaster Polytechnic.  As a Buddhist monk, Tashi was trained in temple decorating, Tanka painting and calligraphy in the different forms of Tibetan and Sanskrit script.

The works in the exhibition, created over the last 10 years, are imbued with this eclectic background. Most works are shown for the first time and are very much based in traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices. However, this traditional concept is being interpreted in a contemporary way. The illuminated manuscripts are positive and thought provoking, combining traditional and modern, Eastern and Western iconography, style and letter forms. Continue reading

Seoul Exhibit: Calligraphy of Buddhist monks reflects their personalities

The Korean Herald
2013-04-18 19:46

Folding screen of calligraphy by Ven. Tanheo (National Museum of Korea)

It is said that handwriting reflects a man’s character. Korean calligraphy using a brush and ink is said to be the epitome of self-discipline and academic achievements as it demands patience and self-control.

At the National Museum, an exhibition highlighting the calligraphy works of two of the greatest Buddhist monks of the modern Korea is held through June 16.

A total of 80 works and artifacts of Ven. Hanam (1876-1951) and Ven. Tanheo (1913-1983) are on display, including nine calligraphy pieces by Hanam and another 31 by his protégé Tanheo kept at Soljeongsa Temple, where the two monks resided. Continue reading

Thich Nhat Hanh opens Bangkok exhibit

The Nation
2013-04-03

Widely revered Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh today, April 3, 2013, opens an exhibition of "calligraphic meditation" depicting his philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Among the titles are "Present Moment, Beautiful Moment" and "Peace in Oneself Peace in the World no Circle". The exhibition runs until April 12, 2013.Nhat Hanh and his 50 fellows from France's Pulm Village visits Thailand during March 25 to April 28, 2013. During his five-week visit to Thailand, he will lead vipassana training, open an exhibition of "calligraphic meditation" and boost construction of the Nakhon Ratchasima branch of his celebrated Plum Village retreat in France.More story click http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/A-month-with-the-master-30202658.htmlNation Photo/Charnnarong Porndilokrad

Widely revered Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh today, April 3, 2013, opens an exhibition of “calligraphic meditation” depicting his philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Among the titles are “Present Moment, Beautiful Moment” and “Peace in Oneself Peace in the World no Circle”. The exhibition runs until April 12, 2013. Nhat Hanh and his 50 fellows from France’s Pulm Village visits Thailand during March 25 to April 28, 2013. During his five-week visit to Thailand, he will lead vipassana training, open an exhibition of “calligraphic meditation” and boost construction of the Nakhon Ratchasima branch of his celebrated Plum Village retreat in France. More story click http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/A-month-with-the-master-30202658.html Nation Photo/Charnnarong Porndilokrad

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Impermanence: The Art of Charwei Tsai

Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Kenji Liu
March 26, 2013

Impermanence: The Art of Charwei Tsai

I have to admit that I don’t often encounter modern Buddhist art or poetry that I like. It’s hard to convey the insights and experiences of dhamma practice in conventional terms without relying on cliche. This is something that often happens with “spiritual” art. When I do find Buddhist art I like, it’s grounded in practical social issues, or everyday material experiences, without pretense.

This is why I like the work of Taiwanese multimedia artist Charwei Tsai. Continue reading