Two hundred years ago three Zen monks from the Daitoku-ji in Kyoto collaborated to create a single stroke Mt. Fuji accompanied by three poems which extolled the wonder of the iconic mountain. This work exemplifies the focus of the show which reveals the melding of image, calligraphy, and poetic verse incorporated in many Zen works. The philosophy extended to tea ceramics, tea bowls, tea containers, water jars, and storage jars.
Calligraphy of bold strokes on a six panel screen, once translated, provides a glimpse of a monk seated in early morning dew, touching a venerable tree, desiring his morning tea fix. A delicate rendering of a poem about spring grasses sprouting in her yard by the Zen nun, Rengetsu, demonstrates another style of Japanese calligraphy which is the antithesis of the wide, masculine strokes on the screen.
Teabowls such as the masterful Kuro Raku chawan by Toin, born 1953, incorporates all the desirable features of Raku bowls particularly the lustrous black glaze. The diminutive tea containers, or chaire, grand in form and varied in glaze, give us a glimpse of the artistic attention which the Japanese lavished on the smallest object. A magnificent tea leaf storage jar by Furutani Kazuya provides dynamic interest.
ZEN INK & CLAY: Oct. 26 through Nov. 2 at Tambaran Gallery, 5 East 82 Street Suite 2, New York City noon to 6pm daily.
131 east 83 st. Suite 7D
New York, N.Y. 10028, New York
About Carole Davenport
Established in 1980, Carole Davenport has been a private dealer in Japanese and other Asian art. Public shows are held twice a year. Arts of Pacific Asia and the Haughton Fairs were among her venues. Collectors, museums, and dealers from around the world are among her client base.