Philosophy of Sumi-e
Asian brush painting, which includes both Chinese and sumi-e, or Japanese brush painting, is rooted in a tradition over two thousand years old. In Japan this art was first practiced by the Zen priests to improve their spirituality and meditation through artistic concentration and perfection. Thus, sumi-e is more than just an art form. It is a spiritual discipline requiring co-ordination of the hand and mind. To paint in sumi-e is to experience the difference between appearance and truth. Appearance can be obtained by shape alone, but when truth grasps the chi, or life spirit of the subject. In sumi-e it is more important to capture the inner nature of the subject than to reproduce its exact outward form.
The philosophy of sumi-e entails both contrast and harmony. The yin/yang symbol with a light dot in the dark section, and a dark dot in the light section, represents the perfectly balanced interchange of two dynamically opposed forces of the universe; the dots represent integration of these two forces. The balance and integration of these forces, and the eternal interaction of Yin and Yang are the ultimate goal of sumi-e.
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