2014 / Clark Center exhibition “33 Dances” calligraphy closing Dec. 6

Clark Center Calligraphy

Tokai Okon (1816-1888) “Clouds” mid-19th century Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Gift of Stephen Addiss and Audrey Yoshiko Seo.

Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture

33 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy from the 16th to the 19th Century

Sept. 2 – Dec. 6, 2014

The exhibition is organized under the auspices of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  

In East Asia, calligraphy has been hailed as the highest of all art forms for more than 15 centuries. It’s not hard to understand why: With more than 80,000 Chinese characters and infinite graphic variations, the expressive potential is unlimited.

The results, as seen in 33 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy from the 16th to the 19th Century, speak for themselves.

From hanging scrolls to handscrolls, albums to folding screens, each work is a unique expression of the artist’s personality and offers a glimpse into the culture that held calligraphy in such high esteem.

The works exemplify the variety of scripts possible with Chinese characters: seal script (tensho), clerical script (reisho), standard script (kaisho), running script (gyōsho), and cursive script (sōsho). Calligraphy’s emphasis on movement and timing suggests dancing, and each script has its own rhythm, from the formal strictness of seal script to the wild dance of cursive writing.

33 Dances focuses on artwork from the Momoyama and Edo periods (1568-1868), when Japan was ruled by powerful shogun, peace and prosperity prevailed, and the arts flourished under expanded patronage.

Calligraphy was revitalized, practiced by classical and Chinese-style poets, Confucian scholars, literati artists, Zen monks, devotees of courtly waka poetry, and haiku. Within this historical and cultural context, the exhibition focuses on the works as individual dances of line and form in space.

This exhibition is an homage to Dr. Stephen Addiss, emeritus professor at the University of Virginia, Richmond, and draws solely from the calligraphy collection he donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2013. The selected works were featured in his exhibition 77 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy by Poets, Monks, and Scholars, 1568-1868 and are represented in the accompanying catalogue.

77 Dances commenced in 2006 and was held at four venues: the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University; the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Florida.

33 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy from the 16th to the 19th Century is exhibited at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, 15770 Tenth Ave, Hanford, CA 93230. (559) 582-4915.



Demonstration and Experience of Sado: The Way of Tea

Saturday, Sep. 6, 2014, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Participate in Bonryaku Temae, a simple way of preparing Japanese green tea on a tray, and enjoy tea and sweets at the studio in our Bonsai Garden. Dr. Tomoko Kozasa, tea master of the Urasenke School and Japanese Minor Coordinator at California State Universiy Fresno, will explain a simplified method of aesthetic practice and demonstrate how to enjoy matcha (powdered green tea) as a calm perspective in your daily life.

Free with paid admission to the museum ($5 for adult). Limited to 10 persons/ session. No reservation necessary. This event is supported by The Bertha and John Garabedian Charitable Foundation.


Opening Lecture

Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Conducted by Dr. Andreas Marks, Head, Department of Japanese and Korean Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts