Asai Kiyoshi: Stone Garden - Honolulu Museum of Art

Artist: Asai Kiyoshi

Title: Stone Garden

Date: 1963

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Source: Honolulu Museum of Art
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This print depicts one of the most representative stone gardens in Kyoto, that of Ryöanji Temple. Zen stone gardens symbolize abstract visual images of a universal ocean, wherein each stone represents an island continent. Therefore, the garden is a meditative tool, used to aid in one’s enlightened understanding of the universe. Both stylistically and conceptually, Zen art is very similar to modern abstract art. In his prints, Saitö made extensive use of sumi ink. He bought imperfect, broken sumi cakes and soaked them in water for about two weeks, then crushed them with a mortar. Though one does not obtain the same oily liquid (yielded by the time-consuming process of rubbing the stick against an ink stone), this method still produces a clear pigment which has the advantage of being easily made, and is of a better quality in tone and consistency than the liquefied, ready-made bokujü. (from Saito Kiyoshi exhibition 3/20/07-)

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