Calligraphy: Visual Expression of the Spirit University of Idaho Seed Grant uri icon



  • Japanese calligraphy presents the meanings of language in a written form. We can recognize and understand its meaning by reading it. However, it also carries the thoughtful spirit that the calligrapher has transmitted on to the paper, hidden in the written form. In Japanese calligraphy, a calligrapher completely surrenders him or herself to the language, transmitting the meanings through performance of "mark making" as paint or ink is applied to paper. As a Japanese artist, I use this approach to mark making in my creative process. As I investigate this mark making approach, I will deepen my understanding of Japanese calligraphy, and ultimately make my painting a more faithful expression. The Seed Grant will enable me to research and experience what is necessary to perform this almost hidden mindfulness aspect of Japanese calligraphy more authentically. I will study the Japanese traditional activities: Kado (flower arrangement) and Sado (tea ceremony), and will participate in Zen practice. The scholarly outcomes of the project will be solo exhibitions scheduled in November 2017 at Thompson Gallery, Furman University, Greenville, SC, and Fall 2018 at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts, Emory and Henry College, Emory, VA. I will incorporate the practice into my teaching.