THE ESSENCE OF ZEN ART
"The hours of the day
Whirl and whoosh by,
abated by my peaceful home"
It is said that Asian art portrays spirit, while Western art portrays form. In Zen art, the artist strives to illustrate the inherent nature of an aesthetic object by the simplest means possible.The goal is to capture the intrinsic qualities of the object, its eternal essence.
KNOWING YOUR SUBJECT
There is an amusing anecdote, centuries old, that illustrates this idea. A Chinese emperor commissioned one of his subjects, an esteemed artist, to create a painting of his favorite goat. The artist studied and cared for the goat for two years, until finally the emperor became impatient and demanded the return of his pet. When the emperor asked to see this notorious work of art that had taken so much time to create, the artist calmly admitted that he had not, in fact, painted anything yet. He then produced paper and ink, and in a few simple lines he painted the most beautiful rendition of a goat the emperor had ever seen.
Contemplation is key to the creation of art, as it requires a deep understanding of the nature of the subject being rendered. Equal emphasis is traditionally given to indoor and outdoor living spaces, as it is believed that all aspects of a person's environment should be pleasing to the eye and should inspire mindfulness and promote a generous, compassionate spirit. A main adage of Confucianism is to be “happy, but not without restraints,” and to feel “sad, but not to the extent that it injures the body." Figures in traditional Chinese art are usually depicted as having a serene and thoughtful demeanor.
In Confucianism, art is regarded as a medium for character development and spiritual growth. This is a wonderful precept to bear in mind when planning your perfect bedroom oasis. Neutral colors promote serenity and introspection, and an uncluttered arrangement of Asian furniture is the ideal accompaniment. A comfortable Japanese futon instantly transforms your bedroom into an inviting retreat, and eliminates the distracting feeling of clutter that often comes with a traditional bed. Adding a live plant to the mix inspires feelings of happiness to balance the room and nourish Chi, the powerful creative life force that exists within us all.
Chinese Art Prints
Designing for Feng Shui
Asian Statue Art - Terra Cotta
Dining Furniture Made from Bamboo
Japanese Floor Mats