How’s life treating you? Mine has started to become quite steady (as you can tell from the more or less regular entries I’ve never had.. ) but yesterday was a special day nevertheless because I got to see and hear master calligraher Suishū Tomoko Klopfenstein-Arii.
円相 – the circle represents emptiness and completion, it is often used as a visual symbol for Zen
Her and Yamakawa Sōgen Rōshi’s Bokuseki 墨跡 (ink traces) are currently being exhibited at the ethnological museum in Zurich. I haven’t been to the exhibition yet but yesterday she held a lecture about Bokuseki and Chinese and Japanese calligraphy in general which was so interesting! I had never heard of Bokuseki and all but her speech with the following demostration totally drew my attention. Bokuseki is a form of Japanese calligraphy (Shodō) that was introduced with the Zen-Buddhism in Japan during the 13th century by Chinese Chinese Zen monks. The traditional and the Chinese calligraphy then started to strongly influence one an other.
“Silently spread black strokes on white surface“ Suishū K.-A.
“It’s finished when the white spaces start breathing“ Suishū K.-A.
Bokuseki doesn’t only show the form and meaning of a character but reflects an intensively experienced moment. That’s why some of the more modern Bokuseki have characters that are almost illegible. As soon as I arrived at home I felt the urge to draw myself and started practicing Katakana with ink and brush like crazy! I had bought a cheap set in Japan but had never opened it… well I guess I will use it a lot from now on because I really want to get better at calligraphy.
To see a few more pics, read on~
I had expected to see some Japanese or History of Art students but as you can see on the pictures above, Silvankun and I were pretty much the youngest people there… It was a great experience nevertheless and after the presentation Silvankun got to talk to his former calligraphy teacher who is a student of Suishū Tomoko Klopfenstein-Arii and she even showed and explained us the poem she had skillfully written on beautiful paper.
I know it’s a pretty unusual entry but I hope I was able to transmit a little bit of the fascination it exerted on me..
Stay tuned pumpkins~