TAOGRAMS

Original Artwork Series

Sumi Ink
Vermilion Seal


 
 
taograms-combo.jpg
 
 

While working with Japanese sumi ink (India ink or Chinese ink) I'm particularly interested in the movement of the brush and the trace this gesture leaves on the paper. An approach deeply rooted in the Japanese traditions shodo (Calligraphy) and zenga (Zen monk’s art).

Shodo is not only an artistic, but also a mindful and meditative activity. Sho (書) means ‘to write’ and do (道) translates with ‘the path, or the Tao’.

Zenga is the term for the practice and art (painting and calligraphy), created by Zen Buddhist monks. Zen (禅) is a school of Mahayana Buddhism, strongly influenced by Taoism. The word origins in Sanskrit and translates as ‘absorption’ or ‘meditative state’. Ga (画) is the Japanese word for picture.

A lot of works in this ongoing series are based on Chinese characters and Japanese kanjis, but I'm using the same approach for abstract shapes and concepts as well. I don't limit myself to actual, readable language – my focus lays on the expression, the state of mind and the final composition.

This way the drawings become a depiction of a certain energy (Qi) at a certain time. Like a snapshot of the ongoing flow of Tao or a symbol of the theme or word I was contemplating about.

I therefore call this kind of work taograms, unlike pictograms, logograms or ideograms which would refer to predefined, written language and signs.

 

More examples coming soon!