The Awakened Spirit: Shôsho in the 21st Century

The Awakened Spirit: Shôsho in the 21st Century

March 5 – March 30, 2013

A Traveling Exhibition Celebrating the Calligraphy of Teshima Yûkei and His Direct Disciples, Nakagawa Kyôji, Takeuchi Hôsen and Teshima Tairiku

Shôsho, a contemporary calligraphic art which combines traditional elements of ancient Chinese writing, shodô, and contemporary ideas about the dynamic qualities of the artistic image, promotes the unification of the spirit of the written character (kanji) and the spirit of the artist, filling the three-dimensional space between them with unseen power. When this merging of artist and work is successful, the viewer intuitively understands the meaning of the work, even though he/she may not be able to read the character.

Unlike traditional forms of shodô (the way of calligraphy), which rely on the meaning of the poetry or prose, shôsho embraces the concept that a few characters (usually one to four) can stand alone as an artwork with the perceived meaning being expressed not only through words, but also through the combination of the artist’s spirit and skill in selecting the correct ink, paper, script, writing speed and technique.

The artworks of Teshima Yûkei and his direct disciples, Nakagawa Kyôji, Takeuchi Hôsen, and Teshima Tairiku have been exhibited internationally in China, Europe, South America and North America. This exhibition commemorates one-half century of shôsho, and a quarter of a century since the passing of its founder, Teshima Yûkei. It explores the current direction of the genre and, over the two years of this traveling exhibition, makes it accessible to both students and connoisseurs of Asian Art in the United States. Exhibition visitors will enjoy the living quality of the characters, as the positive, negative and three-dimensional space transmits spiritual power and meaning. As you examine these vibrant works, you are invited to calm your thoughts, absorbing the fragrance of the aesthetic quality revealed through both depth and variety, in these amazing and sensitive shôsho artworks.