Brushing eyes, combing toenails, flossing knees, and buying butts at the supermarket.
MOHRI SUZUKI IN NEW YORK CITY
Mohri Suzuki is acknowledged as one of the most promising calligraphy artists in Japan. He specializes in Zen art calligraphy, employing brushes of various sizes to write “Kanji” or other Chinese characters in black ink. Calligraphy is not merely a form of writing, but instead requires writing from the heart. It is the art of giving life to each brushstroke, and bestowing the characters with movement. Brush lines seemingly sweep and dance across the page with fluidity, capturing a spontaneous episode of passion in noir.
In the winter of 2017, Suzuki was featured in two exhibitions in New York City celebrating traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Strongly influenced by the philosophy of the Tea Ceremony and principles of Zen and Confucianism, Suzuki aims to achieve peace and elegance in his artworks. His works range from notebook-sized to large-scale murals created with a mop-like brush. Witnessing Suzuki at work is a powerful, intensive experience. He achieves a delicate balance of concentration and spontaneity manifested onto the paper. Guests were treated to a performance by the artist at the opening reception of "The Nippon Quest" exhibition held at the Alex Adam Gallery. Also featured in the exhibition were works by textile artist Sachiko Kinoshita, textile pattern dyeing, or kyo yuzen, artist Nobuko Nakayama, Japanese calligraphy, or kana, artist Toshu Teraoka, and cartonnage artist Yasuko Kinoshita.
Mohri Suzuki’s creations were also celebrated at the "Washi Paper" exhibition at the Nippon Club. The pieces displayed were calligraphy works on traditional handmade Japanese washi paper, which is considered a work of art in itself. Suzuki also taught a calligraphy workshop where participants were instructed to concentrate their entire being on the painting and search for energies held within the black ink strokes. Other artists featured in the Washi Paper exhibition included gold leaf artist Mikako Suzuki, traditional origami artist Hiromi Watabe, traditional origata artist Kasui Arima, and washi sculpture artist Kiyoharu Uchiumi. The exhibition kicked off with a talk on Washi Paper by Professor Koji Shibazaki from the Department of Design and Craft of the Aichi University of the Arts. Suzuki brought his Zen philosophy into the homes of New Yorkers, and the artist was commissioned for several works in which he painted directly onto the walls of people’s homes, arresting a moment in time in hopes of creating an essence of living in the present.
WRITTEN BY FIONA KHOR