Zen art – The Sound of One Hand: Painting and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin

LACMA Hakuin Daruma

Hakuin Ekaku, Daruma, Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Image: 113.03 x 50.17 cm. LACMA, Gift of Murray Smith. Photograph © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Japanese Pavilion is exhibiting The Sound of One Hand: Painting and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin:

Part 1: May 22–June 28, 2011

Part 2: July 1 – August 14, 2011

Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768) is widely acknowledged as the most important Zen Buddhist master of the past 500 years.

He was also the most influential Zen artist of Edo-period (1615-1868) Japan, but unlike the highly studied monk painters of earlier centuries, he received no formal artistic training beyond the basic skills in handling brush, ink, and paper that were required for everyday writing.

Hakuin’s self-taught, spontaneous, yet masterly and inspired painting and calligraphy, just like his teachings and writings, expressed the mind and heart of Zen for monks and lay followers alike.

With the aim of reaching out to people of all social and economic classes, rather than just the élite, he invented a new visual language for his religion, depicting everyday subjects and themes from other Buddhist sects, as well as Zen patriarchs and masters.

For this first exhibition in the West devoted to Hakuin, nearly 80 of his scrolls are gathered from collections in the United States and Japan.

Organized in collaboration with New Orleans Museum of Art, and curated by Audrey Yoshiko Seo and Professor Stephen Addiss.

The Los Angeles presentation is made possible by LACMA’s East Asian Art Council.

The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art

Pavilion for Japanese Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Museum hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 12 noon – 8 pm; Friday 12 noon – 9 pm; Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 8 pm; and closed Wednesdays.

For further information about Japanese art exhibitions at LACMA, call (323) 857-6565. www.lacma.org