Japanese Sumi-e painting appreciation

Japanese Sumi-e painting appreciation

SUMI-E is the Japanese word for Black Ink Painting. East Asian Painting and writing developed together in ancient China using the same materials —brush and ink on paper.

For Sumi-e, the emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush. The Chinese speak of “writing a painting” and “painting a poem.”

The 2000 year-old art form of Japanese brush painting is spiritually rooted in Zen Buddhism. Sumi-e’s earliest practitioners were highly disciplined monks trained in the art of concentration, clarity, and simplicity. These early Zen Masters dedicated themselves to the art form with spiritual intensity through long years of serious reflection and strict discipline. Respect for Sumi-e’s demands shaped their aesthetic direction.

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