Yoshiko Yoshida: Mastering the art of Japanese calligraphy

What a soul stimulating city Nara (central Japan) seems to an artistic mind and how well fed such spirit is while discovering jewels of this ancient japanese capital! Contemporary calligrapher Yoshiko Yoshida (55) was born and grew up in this >>haut-lieu<< of Japanese buddhism.
Attached to the written and spiritual traditions of ancient Japan and China, Yoshiko’s work mainly focuses on meditative character of  writings. As expected, Japanese calligraphic expression, based on zen principles, is highly philosophical and her work is not an exeption to this even when streaching from quiet and smooth variations to very strong contrasts in expression as well as in meaning of the written text – the object of Yoshiko Yoshida’s interest.
“Working on classics leads you to the essence of creative activity.” stays artist on importance of the heritage in art of beautiful writing. ” The harmony of the black and white can only be achieved by hard work, and when I find it, it brings me happiness and delight. I can get much power then so I go back confronting myself with Chinese and Japanese classics again.”

Yoshiko Yoshida: The Sun and the Moon are shining, ink on paper, 2011 Okayama
Yoshiko Yoshida: The Sun and the Moon are shining, ink on paper, 2011 Okayama

In >Crystal ball< she gives a free flow to oen of her most powerful expressions: the object described smooth, cold, and immobile has nothing to do with her vision of it. Yoshiko goes far behind of what object looks like, she studies what it’s potential and possibilities are.
“Calligraphy needs rhythm and body movements as well, in other words, it asks you to be conscious of your breathing,” says Yoshiko Yoshida. “When I find myself open to synchronise with a classic, I am so released as if ‘SOMEONE’ blessed me. When I attain such state of mind, I can accept myself and can go ahead with producing my own art-works with Chinese characters and developing abstract calligraphy freely.” Beautiful example of this philosophy is >The Crystal ball<:
In ancient China, crystal ball has been used as an oracle Chinese emperors loved to consult in hope to get known what may come during their reign or what may happen to them in the future. Ideogram pictured here is composed of two parts 玉 (ball) and 珠 (jewel or gem) but it does represent more the light reflected by the crystal rather than the object: so called ‘bi’, a stone discus with a hole in the middle evocating at the same time philosophical separation of the Sky and the Earth ( or all earthy and all heavenly) as well as their mystical union in this object. Yoshiko’s artistic conception has got roots in early cosmological beliefs of taoist China, but stretches far behind a simple expression of these. She explores the relation of an obect and it’s funcition as well as how this function may change in time.

Yoshiko Yoshida: Crystal ball, ink on paper, 2012 Okayama
Yoshiko Yoshida: Crystal ball, ink on paper, 2012 Okayama

Original bringing together of Chinese first cave writing style with modern Japanese poem in work inspired by Natsume Soseki’s verses witnesses of Yoshiko’s interest in ancient writings including those very early almost primitive ones have which have got an important influence on her work: “When you learn classics from ancient Chinese and Japanese calligraphers’ works, you should be very careful about the speed and rhythm, then you can feel classics’ very precised and delicate nuances.”
Today, Yoshiko Yoshida lives and Works in Okayama, Japan.

Yoshiko Yoshida: Poem by Natume Soseki, ink on paper, 2013 Okayama
Yoshiko Yoshida: Poem by Natsume Soseki, ink on paper, 2013 Okayama

 

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