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Enchantment: “Song of the Brush, Dance of the Ink”2012.03.21

    Enchantment is a state of seductive attraction to a person, a place, or a work of art, and the name I have chosen for my Calligraphy exhibition being held from Mar 31~Apr 3, 2012, at the peak of the intoxicating cherry blossom season.


    I have been fascinated by Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) since first coming to Japan in 1972. My infatuation with the Way of the Brush over the past few decades led to a Shihan teaching license, writing a book Shodo: The Art of Coordinating Mind, Body, and Brush (Japan Publications 1989), exhibitions in Japanese Calligraphy competitions, including winning the Best Interior Prize for the FUJIN GAHO Interior Calligraphy Competition (Jul 2009). I have also uploaded on Facebook several hundred digital Shodo works with English translations and interpretations, painted by hand on an iPad.


    But this is the first time to hold a full Calligraphy exhibition, and this one featuring a theme of ecological calligraphy, with works painted directly on or mounted to boards made of charcoal sumi 炭. Carbonized wood has a remarkable effect of cleansing the air in an interior, removing odors, controlling static electricity, repelling harmful insects, and warming the temperature of the room. It is used in Japan as paneling to help heal the sick house syndrome, in which chemicals and odors from modern building materials often make people nauseous. These boards are an effective use of an abundant natural resource, and protect us by purifying the air that we breathe in our homes. Produced by SUMIKOH Co., Ltd. the black Sumi Science Boards are used for paneling in interiors, and can also be used to display art or as a canvas for art itself. The Enchantment Exhibition is an opportunity to experience both ecology and art together.


    The ink used is also pronounced sumi 墨, and is made of highly refined soot particles embedded in sumi ink sticks. Calligraphy is often described as a “song of the brush, dance of the ink,” a silent but potent appeal to all of the senses. The painted characters contain poetry and word images that can transport you to another world, or remind you of a theme that is important in your life.


    The world of Japanese calligraphy need not be cloistered in academic or artistic obscurity. That approach has caused a gradual disappearance of calligraphy from display in Japanese buildings and modern homes. Shodo is accessible and appealing, and deserves a place in our daily lives. Come and discover the magic of brush calligraphy, and its connection to poetry, music, and lifestyle.


    The studio exhibition will be open from Mar 31~Apr 3, 11 am~7 pm daily, ending at 5 pm on the last day. I will be at the studio throughout the exhibit, and we are planning a number of interactive demonstrations.


    Sat (3/31) from 3 pm, demonstration of the relationship between Shodo and Jazz. Sun (4/1) from 2 pm, talk show which will also be broadcast on the radio. Mon (4/2) from 2 pm, demonstration of the relationship between Shodo and Jazz. Tue (4/3) from 3~4 pm, calligraphy workshop (2500 yen), number of participants limited.


    The Enchantment exhibit is sponsored by Sympa Mint Corporation, with Sumi Science Boards provided by SUMIKOH Co., Ltd., and will be held at the Sanbancho Club, located about 5 minutes walk from Hanzmon Station on the Hanzmon Line in Tokyo. Admission is free, and it will be possible to purchase some of the calligraphy works on exhibit. The address of the studio is Parkside Annex 4B, 1-17 Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and during the exhibition time you can call 03-3222-1931 for instructions on how to get to the studio from Hanzmon Station.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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