The people of Japan have are well renowned for their artistic skills and craftsmanship. The country has proven to be the breeding ground for some of the most talented hands that the world has ever seen. This is evident when one observes the history of arts and crafts of the country.
The land of the rising sun has been a place from where many new styles and techniques have originated with regards to arts. Amongst the many different techniques that the Japanese are known to be the masters of is the art of brush painting.
Essentially brush painting makes use of brushes and ink whereas the technique was actually originated in China. With the passage of time the technique spread over to the surrounding areas and was further developed within different cultures. Japan happens to be one of those nations who adopted this technique, modified and mastered it to produce some of the most amazing artwork through the medium.
There have been other countries known for practicing this art of brush painting which originated from China. Korea and Vietnam happen to be the foremost along with Japan amongst the countries where this form of art flourished.
Brush painting in Japan
When we look at the history of brush painting in Japan we find it to be amongst the newer artistic trends as compared to the various other styles that are attributed to the country. History reveals that brush painting in Japan was actually an offshoot from the Buddhist schools of calligraphy known as Shodo in Japan.
The art of brush painting goes by the name of sumi-e in Japan. The style revolves around simplicity, beauty and purity yet at the same time comes across as resonant and strong. The art form seems to have been greatly influenced by the Zen philosophy of Buddhism.
Sumi-e artwork is made using brushes of different sizes and strokes. The ink used is always black in colour and the canvas is white rice paper. Traditionally all the brushes that were used were made from bamboo.
With regards to the subject matter that we find in Japanese brush art we find them to be extremely varied. Foremost amongst them are landscape paintings which are found in an abundant quantity. Other typical Japanese brush painting themes include animals, flowers and other elements that are close to nature.
The art of brush painting has evolved over the years and some recent additions have been made to the style. In the good old days the artists deliberately restricted themselves to a defined set of materials to use such as hand made paper, black ink and bamboo brushes with natural bristles.
Over the course of time however artists introduced the use of new materials into the art form in order to come up with more diverse results. The addition of colour along with newer materials has revolutionized this ancient Japanese art and has produced some amazing artwork.