Sho 1 — 41 maîtres calligraphes contemporains du Japon


Drawing, painting

Sho 1
41 maîtres calligraphes contemporains du Japon

Past: March 14 → May 14, 2012

The Mainichi Shodokai Calligraphy Association and the musée Guimet exhibit, for the first time in France, thirty-six works by Japanese contemporary calligraphers (including the competition winners’), works crafted for the 63th annual national competition organized by the Mainichi Shodokai foundation, held in 2011 in Tokyo, supplemented with five works by late great calligraphy masters.

The art of calligraphy, “a play on characters”

This display sets the beginning of a newly-established recurring collaboration between our two institutions. Offering a unique immersion into the heart of a traditional art, the works to be displayed have been specifically crafted for the Musée Guimet. A number of them will be donated to the museum after the event, a vibrant testimony of the generosity and of the willingness to share and pass on, that is at the heart of this common approach. Appearing in Japan during the sixth century, the art of calligraphy, deeply influenced in its form and expression by Chinese models, evolved, around the tenth century, into a genuine “Japanese” art form. Expressing the artist’s vital impulse, the art of calligraphy has been perpetuated until today. It is based on the creation of more or less readable brush strokes, made up of successions of lines and dots. Calligraphy competitions are held every New Year, a testament to the liveliness of this artistic practice today, still very much present in the everyday life of the Japanese.

An “art of living ink and paper”

Seven stylistic categories will bring together classical poems of Chinese inspiration, unique calligraphy works as well as some purely Japanese literary forms such as haiku or waka. Avant-garde artists, who endeavor to release the hand movement in order to emphasize the aesthetics, will complete the selection, illustrating the coexistence of various styles and their evolution throughout history. The musée Guimet and the Mainichi Shodokai Foundation hope, through this event, to open to the Western audience the gates of a unique world, that of the “ink art” and of “living paper”, a major art form that remains omnipresent in the Archipelago today.

In connection with this display, calligraphy improvisations will be held at the musée Guimet (on the 4th floor rotunda), to offer the audience a more intimate and vivid encounter with this amazing craft.

Calligraphy demonstration by the winners of the Mainichi Shodoten competition. Improvisation gatherings dedicated to the masters’ “trade secrets” (4th floor rotunda). Didactic sessions by the masters and a display of their crafting tools (paper, ink and brush) will add to the discovery of this art of improvisation.

“Trade secrets”: March 14, 15 and 16 at 11am; April: 13 and 14 at 2.30 pm; May 12 , 13 and 14 at 11am;

Improvisations: March 14, 15 and 16 at 2:30pm; April: 13 and 14 at 2.30 pm; May 12, 13 and 14 mai at 2:30pm

Free admission subject to availability : access passes to be collected at the reception desk one hour ahead.

Musée Guimet Museum
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6, place d’Iéna

75016 Paris

T. 01 56 52 53 00


Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €7,50€ — 8 — Concessions €5,50€ — 6

Free admission to exhibitions for young people under 18 years