Writing in the Sky

The brush strokes of Ku K’ai-chih (ca. 345-406) are strong in firmness and uninterrupted in continuity, circling back upon themselves in abrupt rushes. His tone and style are untrammeled and varied; his atmosphere and flavor sudden as lightning. His conception was formulated before his brush was used, so that when the painting was finished the conception was present.
– Chang Yen-yuan (ca. 847)

• Shinichi Maruyama throws a large brush dipped in ink-stained water, and photographs the liquid in mid air. His series Kusho, which means “writing in the sky,” explores the controlled unpredictability of calligraphy. Ancient Chinese texts on painting discuss the moment right before the calligrapher puts his brush to paper. In a way, Maruyama has captured that moment in a photograph.

• Sarah’s Crackle is an abstract painting that looks like ink dropped in a glass of water.

• Calligraphy speaks in a language of subtle movements and learned spontaneity. Scientists at Keio University demonstrated the capabilities of a MCS robot to learn the movement and pressure of an 89-year-old master. There’s something utterly degrading about making a calligrapher watch his own brushstrokes being replicated by a robot.

• Heidi & Hannah’s Antique Brush and Ink Stand is engraved with Chinese characters and designs of women.

• Niki & Kim’s Speedball No. 5 Set comes with two pen holders and a variety of nibs.

• Steven’s Wood Pen is hand-carved from fallen wood and comes with an ink well, dropper, and nibs.

• Keri’s Calligraphy Set comes in a box covered with Italian lettering.

• Each dot in Gen Miyamura’s Universe represents a specific word and forms an incomplete circle of meaning. Read an interview with the artist here.

• It’s finally here: a “paintbrush” for the iPad, called the Sensu.