Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Japanese Painting: From the Zen Mind
June 11 –December 18, 2016
Japanese Painting: From the Zen Mind explores various approaches to Zen subjects, from the teachings of Zen and the experience of enlightenment to personal interpretations of Zen masters or paragons.
The practice of Zen consists of meditation and direct transmission of knowledge from teacher to pupil, leading through personal effort toward enlightenment. As an active, participatory religion based on discipline, it appealed to military government leaders and others of similar mindset in Japan from the 13th century forward.
The main practitioners of this genre of painting were enlightened monks, who were asked by their followers to create a work of calligraphy or painting that was often displayed for the practice of tea.
Professional artists were also drawn to Zen ideals. The paintings and calligraphies in the exhibition, dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, demonstrate how the experience of the artist produces different qualities in their painting.