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Sumi-e Artists of Canada 2006 Show - November 11th and 12th

This year marked our 25th anniversary as an organization.  As an indicator of that longevity, we chose as a theme for our show: Rocks and Pines Endure. Many of our works on display reflected that homage to age and the wisdom that accrues from it. Our many visitors - over 1000 - found this year's show as timely and timeless as the subject. 

Absorbed by sumi-e art

It was a large show for even the sizeable Kobayashi Hall with over 100 paintings and over 100 works of shodo (Japanese calligraphy). In keeping with our theme, the shodo created was from the older style of characters from which modern Japanese writing emerged. The shodo works were created by the students of Noriko Maeda, instructor of shodo at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center.

Shodo in the old style

The Ruth Yamada Award for Excellence in Sumi-e, the highest award in the show, went to Above the Mist by Mary Ikeda as selected by this year's judge Dick Chen. Dick wrote of this work that it was a majestic painting. The ancient mountains offset by the solitary pine created a unique expression of the power and mystery of nature.

Above the Mist by Marie Ikeda - Ruth Yamada Award

Honourable mentions went to several other paintings. 

Autumn Splendor by Terry Adachi was noted for its lifelike quality. Dick Chen wrote that you could feel the movement of the trees and the cool breeze of autumn in this painting.  

Autumn Splendor by Terry Adachi - Honourable Mention

A Tranquil Moment by Marie Ikeda was a poetic moment to Dick Chen. He wrote that there was a sense of expectancy in this painting of two ducks in a marsh.

A Tranquil Moment by Marie Ikeda - Honourable Mention

The Rocks of Muskoka by Peter Ito was judged to be one of the most expressive paintings with a stark contrast between the rapid steam of water on rocks at the forefront and the pine forest of the background. 

Rocks of Muskoka by Peter Ito

One Hundred Sparrows by Baoxing Zhang captured the rhythm of a group of sparrows wrote Dick Chen. The gestures of each sparrow and the skillful arrangement of the sparrows together made this a dynamic piece.

One Hundred Sparrows by Baoxing Zhang

In honour of the 25 anniversary, the Consul General of Japan, Koichi Kawakami, opened the show with a speech on the tradition of sumi-e painting in Japan and Canada, providing some insights on what separated this form of painting from all others. James Heron, Executive Director of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center, and Gary Bist, President of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, added their observations on the art form and its long association with the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center.

Official opening. Left-to-right: Gary Bist, President of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, James Heron, Executive Director of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Mary Ikeda, recipient of the Ruth Yamada Award for Excellence in Sumi-e, Noriko Maeda, Shodo Instructor at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center, and Koichi Kawakami, Consul General of Japan. 

Official opening. Left to right, Gary Bist, James Heron, Mary Ikeda, Noriko Maeda, and Koichi Kawakami

The theme of longevity was heightened by the inclusion this contemplative arrangement of bonsai contributed by Dan Maeda.

Bonsai from Dan Maeda

This show like others in the past was created through the efforts of a team of hard working volunteers (and their friends, relatives and spouses) who collected and hung paintings, cooked and served food and tea for our traditional tea room, staffed the sales booths, and demonstrated sumi-e painting at the show. 

All that work was appreciated by enthusiastic sumi-e painting art lovers. 

Intense interest in sumi-e painting of autumn

Many discussions on the finer points of sumi-e painting could be seen.

Debating the finer points of a sumi-e painting

Others chose to quietly study the art.

Fascinated by a waterfall

A close study of the technique was made be some of the vistors.

A close study of the brushwork

Others stepped back to gain a perspective on the work.

Studying the artwork

Everyone seemed to have something to say.

An animated discussion

Even a solitary frog caught the attention of visitors.

Looking twice at a frog

Everywhere there was discussion on the many and varied sumi-e paintings and shodo.

A discussion on the art form called sumi-e

Which usually ended putting a smile on one's face.

Something for everyone to discuss or smile about

There was room for quiet contemplation too.

Absorbed by the beauty of some sparrows

The old form of shodo characters received the same study by the visitors.

Shodo was equally as interesting to the visitors

Demonstrators like Terry Adachi captured the interest of the young.

Demonstration by Terry Adachi

Which led to others looking in at a work in progress.

Demonstration by Terry Adachi

Demonstrater by Mary Ikeda created some vivid flowers.

Demonstration by Mary Ikeda

Diana Bullock had people looking on in fascination.

Demonstration by Diana Bullock

Moira Mudie also captured a crowd of onlookers.

Demonstration by Moira Mudie

No doubt they will all be back for next year's show.