Japanese art exhibition
From 8 to 30 March, interiors of the City Gallery in Wrocław will fill with oriental works by two artists – Poles and Buddhist monks – Ewa Myoshin Hadydoń and Nyogena Nowak. At “DUST ZEN” exhibition visitors to the City Gallery in Wrocław can admire art in ink.
Zen (silent meditation and religious contemplation) is a Buddhist tradition. By applying it, one can obtain a fresh mind and clear thinking. The basic practice in this trend is sitting meditation called zazen, whose essence is to gain insight of one’s true nature and enter the state of the highest enlightenment.
As it is not possible to fully describe the true nature of Zen through words many artists – followers of this approach, create works that are meant to portray the philosophy and spirit of Zen. In this case the artists treat the creative process as a form of meditation which deepens their level of initiation, as well as a path they can use to reach other people with their philosophy.
Two Buddhist monks and a married couple – Ewa Myoshin Hadydoń and Nyogen Nowak are Poles permanently living in Japan. They are both artists. She deals with esoteric painting (mikkyoga), while he works with zen painting (zenga).
At the “DUST ZEN” exhibition Ewa Hadydoń presents faces of Buddhas along Sanskrit letters (bonji). According to the artist, Buddhism and art interrelate with each other. Since antiquity Buddhist teachings have been symbolized by the Buddha, that is a being free from all constraints. In its essence, the Mandala of Thirteen Buddhas created by Hadydoń shows thirteen aspects of one Buddha who is Emptiness. Each Buddha has a ritual verse (dharani) considered the quintessence of the Buddhist sutra. It is written in siddham script (that is bonji).
All Haydoń’s paintings feature meticulousness, depth, mystery and concentration of the spirit.
At Wrocław exhibition Nyogen Nowak presents zen painting (zenga) and Zen calligraphy (zensho). The artist says that the most important element in his art is the flow of the vital energy of life through ink, called “bokki” in Japanese. The line is essential in both Nowak’s work and oriental ink painting. When the line is full of the vital energy of life, the picture is alive and emanates with amazing power. It does not depend on any painting technique, the quality of ink or the brush, but on the energy, which although always present cannot reveal itself if it is not cultivated. It should be noted that Zen art is a part of Zen training, while zazen is a way to cultivate it.
Nyogen Nowak’s paintings, often made on rolls, feature animal and plant motifs, priests as well as Asian landscapes.
Even though at first glance painting styles of Nyogen Nowak and Ewa Myoshin Hadydoń seem to be heading in opposite directions they create unity in the mind of the Buddha.
The oriental and esoteric character of artworks presented at “DUST ZEN” exhibition is to encourage the viewer to contemplate, make him or her think and clear the mind. To create a favourable atmosphere, the exhibition opening will be marked by a ceremony called kenteki, which in Japanese means “offering of the flute”. During the event musician Igor Pietraszewski (a student of shakuhachi flute master Takahashi Ryudo) will perform compositions from the komuso tradition (in accordance with the Zen practices).
The exhibition curated by Mirosław Jasiński.
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: