Solace and Simplicity

At Nanzoin Temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, Japan lies the world’s largest Reclining Bronze Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, the Reclining Buddha symbolises the moment Gautama the Buddha achieved Nirvana, liberation from the cycle of human earthly life, after a lifetime of seeking enlightenment and sitting in meditation. The Buddha’s face depicts simple serenity. There is balance, a sense of absolute harmony. Buddha’s feet, inlaid with intricate designs of gold are remarkable. This …

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彌生草間 Eternity of Eternal Eternity 永遠の永遠の永遠

For the past several months, the center of Kumamoto City has been covered in dots.  From Louis Vuitton to the corner bookstore, everyone seems to have become dotty. Bookstore shopfront. Café interior. It is difficult to understand the reason for this Dots Obsession until you discover the stimulating work of 彌生草間 Yayoi Kusama and her amazing art. 彌生草間 Yayoi Kusama’s Eternity of Eternal Eternity 永遠の永遠の永遠 exhibition has been held in …

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What is Harmony?

Harmony is a state of balance. For me, the circle is a symbol of perfect harmony.  A circle is infinite.  It represents endless continuity with no corners or sharp edges. All points are of equal distance from the centre within a circle. A circle is balanced in its very nature. Circles are replicated as symbols in human art and represented in our everyday living. 茶道, tea ceremony, trà đạo, la cérémonie …

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Vision, Inspiration, Creation & Originality

When vision, inspiration, creation and  originality converge, often Art is the result. Underwater artwork of kingyo 金魚 swimming in fish tanks inspired by Japan’s terraced rice paddy fields. Khi tầm nhìn, cảm hứng, tính chất độc đáo và sáng tạo hội tụ, thường Nghệ Thuật là kết quả. Lorsque la vision, l’inspiration, l’originalité et la création convergent, souvent l’Art est le résultat. ビジョン、インスピレーション、独創性と創造が収束すると、アートは結果である。 The current Art Aquarium exhibition at JR …

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Accepting Imperfection

Have you ever practiced shodo, writing calligraphy with a brush dipped in black ink on delicate rice paper? Recently, I attended a shodo exhibition and participated in the calligraphy workshop that was held in conjunction with the exhibition.  The workshop was led by the artist whose work was being exhibited, and pictured above. I arrived to the workshop empty.  My hands held no equipment, and my head was void of …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi’s Burial Mound

Miyamoto Musashi’s statue based on his portrait. The burial mound of Miyamoto Musashi is in Kumamoto, the place where he lived during the final five years of his life and completed The Book of Five Rings 語輪書. It is here that Miyamoto Musashi’s body lies in full armor with sword in hand, as he had willed prior to his death. Musashi’s tombstone. Everyday there are fresh flowers for the Sword Saint. The …

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One Moment of Perfection

Shimada Art Gallery may be the most perfect art gallery I’ve ever experienced. Nhà Triển Lãm Nghệ Thuật Shimađa có thể là nhà triển lãm nghệ thuật hoàn hảo nhất mà tôi đã từng trải qua. Le Musée d’Art Shimada peut être le plus parfait musée d’art que j’ai connue. The entrance. Cửa vào.  L’entrée. The garden outside, on the gallery grounds. Vườn ngoài sân nhà triển lãm. Le jardin …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi’s Art & Calligraphy

Revered throughout the world as the greatest swordsman ever lived, 宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi is known as kensei 剣聖, Sword-Saint, or Thánh Kiếm in Vietnamese. 宮本武蔵 Musashi is recognized as a profound philosopher, an influential martial artist, a strategist and a deeply respected calligrapher and artist of ink on paper. Original painting 芦雁図, black ink on paper, by Miyamoto Musashi. The original paintings by Miyamoto Musashi are preserved in the city of Kumamoto, …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi In the Spirit Rock Cave

 It was in this cave in which Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of Five Rings 語輪書during the year 1645. Reigando霊巌洞, or Spirit Rock Cave, is located on Mount Iwatono in present-day Kumamoto prefecture, west of Kumamoto city. During Musashi’s time, it was known as mountain Iwato of Higo. Higo was the name of the  region that later became Kumamoto Prefecture. A temple later was established as part of the entrance …

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