2010 / Modern Japanese calligraphy demonstration by Tokyo artist, Dec 7

Calligraphy Hirano Isa Demo

Tokyo artist Isa Hirano performs Daiji-sho style calligraphy. (Courtesy of the artist)

The Nibei Foundation’s Japan Study Club on December 7, 2010 will feature calligraphy artist Isa Hirano from Tokyo.

Hirano’s artwork consists mostly of single Chinese characters drawn in ink on paper, ranging from postcard-size to three meters in length and breadth. These are sometimes embellished with colored paint or gold dust.

Hirano has received commissions for several large performance pieces of up to 4.4 x 3.0 meters at corporate and government events.

The December Japan Study Club will bring a rare chance for Los Angeles people to observe Hirano’s Daiji-sho style performances in person.

After the event, her works of calligraphy will be for auction. Prices range from $25 to $150 depending on size of works.

The Nibei Foundation

Japan Study Club’s Dinner/Lecture Series

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reception and dinner at 6:30 pm

Followed by presentation at 7:30 pm

Admission including dinner: $10 per person

RSVP required by Dec 3 at www.nibei.org

For more information or RSVP, email japanstudies@nibei.org or call (310) 479-6101 ext 134.

The Japan Study Club will be held at Terasaki Foundation Laboratory Building, 11570 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Calligraphy Hirani Ai Clark Center

Tokyo artsit Isa Hirano poses beofer her work read as “Ai” (Love) in “The Life of The Mind” exhibition at the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford in Central California. (Cultural News Photo)

Japan’s Calligraphy or Shodo – the Way of Writing – is one of the contry’s traditional art forms. It’s an artistic expression of Chinese characters (kanji) and Japanese phonetic symbols (kana) through fude (calligraphy brushes) and sumi (black) ink.

The expression of calligraphers’ inner truth in the shape of letters, each of which is a product of extreme spiritual concentration, is the main objective of shodo.

Each letter is judged by several aesthetic factors such as boldness and softness, thickness of lines, flow of strokes, dark-light contrast, amount of sumi applied and the overall balance.

What the letter means is also an important factor to be considered. Shodo-ka, a calligrapher, is an artist who reveals kotodama, the spirit of language, using a fude and sumi.

Classic-style poems and prose written in kanji through five distinctive shodo styles – Ten-sho (Seal Script), Rei-sho (Clerical Script), Kai-sho (Standard Script), Gyou-sho (Running Script), and Sou-sho (Cursive/Grass Script).

Each style has a different aesthetic idea and calligraphic methodology. Today’s Kanji Shodo blends tradition with modern expressions.

Daiji-sho, literally means the “big letter Shodo,” consists of one or two large letters. With highly disciplined strokes combined with creative innovations such as the color of sumi-ink, Daiji-sho has become the latest of the modern Shodo styles.