Zen and the Art of Cultural Exchange: An Invitation to Calligraphy and Ink Painting

The Nezu Museum

poster for Zen and the Art of Cultural Exchange: An Invitation to Calligraphy and Ink Painting

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During the Middle Ages, Buddhist monks from Japan and China crossed the seas on merchant vessels and built close relationships with each other. The highly individual writings of Zen Buddhist monks, and especially those handed down from master to disciple, tell us much about those relationships. Zen monks in Japan, inspired by their Chinese counterparts, gathered in literati circles. In those circles, they appreciated and critiqued paintings and added poetic inscriptions to them, giving rise to magnificent works combining poetry and painting. Some Zen monks, such as the renowned Sesshū, became specialists in painting. This exhibition introduces a variety of writings and ink paintings born of the exchanges cultivated by Zen monks.

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from September 01, 2018 to October 08, 2018

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