Calligraphy on display in the Adams State Hatfield Gallery

(04-27-2009)

The closing reception for the Adams State College Hatfield Gallery exhibit, "Calligraphy", by Kathy Takako Clark, instructor of Japanese, and her calligraphy students is from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, May 8.

Shodo, the way of writing, is Japanese calligraphy and has been studied for over three thousand years. It is a specialized art using a brush and black ink to write kanji and Chinese characters. Shodo is written on Japanese paper, washi, using a bamboo and animal hair brush called a fude. The ink, called suni, is obtained from charcoal and traditionally comes in sticks, which must be rubbed with water on an inkstone until the right consistency is achieved. Much cheaper, pre-mixed bottled inks are now available, but these are used primarily for practice as stick inks are considered higher quality and chemical inks are more prone to bleeding over time, making them less suitable for use in hanging scrolls. Learning to rub the ink is an essential part of calligraphy study.

Works of calligraphy are usually signed with the artist's name and stamp, seal or chop in red ink. Clark has been teaching the class for ten years. "I am very proud of the students. It is not just writing but also includes philosophy." She said the art form came from China and was first practiced by the Japanese Zen priests. "Shodo is Zen thinking, connecting with the spirit and art."

The Hatfield Gallery hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 719-587-7823.

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By Linda Relyea