Ink, rubbing stone, paper and brush. These are the four treasures of a scholar’s room, a room in which spirit and creativity can unfold – and this might be true not only in Japan. In any case, I like this picture of the scilent scholar’s room which brings me closer to the topic of the exhibition, that I would like to reccomend today. From July – December 2019, the Mori Ogai Memorial in Berlin will focus exclusively on ink.

I am really pleased that more and more people in western countries are interested in calligraphy and want to practice it themselves. But, the mystery of the brushstroke begins with the ink, while the production of ink is a small mystery itself.

In principle, ink consists of animal glue, fine or coarser soot particles and fragrances.

The manufacture of „Shinseidô“ by master Kidô Itô is one of the few in Japan, where ink for calligraphy and ink painting is still made by hand. The finished inks are small rectangular or round ink stones that look like handcrafted jewels from the outside.

Surprisingly, even those little dark bars will open your eyes for the principle of aesthetics and harmony in Japan. The meditative atmosphere in calligraphy needs an aesthetic starting point to be seen here in the simple beauty of an ink stone. And yes, they are beautiful. 

© Shinseidô Co.,Ltd

Anyone who wants to explore this subject more deeply has already entered bokudô – the path of the ink.

© Shinseidô Co.,Ltd

In January, the Mori Ogai Memorial is planning an exhibition with calligraphy from Yoshimi Shôko. You can imagine it’s worth seeing the ink stone exhibition before. 

Be inspired and enjoy your journey to Japan. More about this and other exhibitions on Japanese art at Aktuelle Ausstellungen über Japanische Kunst.