What is the 5th Dimension of Calligraphy?

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My own involvement in this special art has a haunting and evasive, sometimes very simple, undertone. Haunting because it is part of my mental life that includes much that is beyond or not part of everyday rational habits. It is more than an exotic Asian mystery and philosophy felt as a special mystique by many Westerners, and it is more than skilled performance, more than a craft, and more than simple language in the service of its content. The complex and special Chinese characters, … [Read more...]

How Lucid Dreaming isn’t as Bad as You Think

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"Lucid Dreaming" is an act of rebellion. The dreamer gains control over his actions and thoughts. The subconscious becomes conscious, dreams become a memory. The Lucid Dreamer is like a magician, imposing willpower and constantly struggling with himself, to master his skills and gain full control of the dream, thus becoming the ruler of the maze instead of a single puppet in the paradox black hole of perception. In life, in creation, there are times that everything seems pointless and … [Read more...]

How are Kana Shodo Culture, the opera “ Madame Butterfly ”, and Japanese Aesthetics related?

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The opera “ Madame Butterfly ” was written by the Italian composer Puccini in 1904, based on the short story written by John Luther Long in 1898. It begins with a scene in which a Japanese marriage-broker, Goro, shows Pinkerton, a Lieutenant in the US Navy, a Japanese traditional house. Pinkerton is surprised to see that the walls in the house are slidable to suit his lifestyle. The newlywed Pinkerton asks where is the bedroom, Goro answers by sliding the walls. “Here or there! Wherever you … [Read more...]

Shadow Photography and Calligraphy

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Shadows began to intrigue me more than 20 years ago when I, someone fascinated by calligraphy and the color of ink, moved from my beloved Japan to Australia. In a southern country whose language was different from mine, I was struck less by that difference than by the contrast of Australia's drier air and clear blue skies, as well as by its bright light and the deep shadows it described. I came to feel a keen interest in shadows one summer day in a park when the shadow of a tree … [Read more...]

Tending the Spirit: An Interview with Master Ransui Yakata of the International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society (ICCPS)

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There are branches of the International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society (ICCPS) in eight major cities around the world. I was fortunate enough to be invited to enter the studio of ICCPS founder Master Ransui Yakata, who is the recipient of numerous awards at public exhibitions, including in ink painting (sumi-e). Master Ransui Yakata currently teaches classes in the fashionable Tokyo districts Omotesandou, Ebisu, and Roppongi, passionately instructing students in calligraphy and … [Read more...]

Ink painting, Sumi-e, Suibokuga and Calligraphy Exhibition in Tokyo

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An exhibition organized by Master Yakata Ransui (矢形嵐酔), President and Founder of ICCPS, was held in Tokyo from June 3rd to June 9th. Ink painting, sumi-e, suibokuga and Japanese and Chinese calligraphy were presented. The International Chinese Calligraphic Art & Chinese Ink Painting Artist Society, with Ransui Yakata as President and General Director, has head offices in Tokyo and branches in China, North America, Russia, and Germany. But the exhibition had an even broader range of … [Read more...]

What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Urban Calligraphy

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Simon Silaidis, Visionary, Urban Calligrapher, is no Ninja. He neither hides nor keeps his identity secret. In the world of graffiti related pursuits, though that would be simplifying matters greatly, his persona and work looms large. Far from being an emerging artist, he is well established and has been interviewed and lauded many times in many lands. What you need to know about Silaidis is that he cannot be easily described with one or two catch phrases or put into an unchanging category of … [Read more...]