Watching this calligrapher at work is strangely thrilling and relaxing at the same time.
Japanese calligraphy, or “shodo” (“the way of the brush”), is an art form that most people associate with tradition, contemplation, and quiet, peaceful environments.
Not everyone thinks this way, though, as some Japanese artists are working hard to bring the traditional discipline out into the contemporary art world, with large-scale works, colourful adaptations and live performances showing just how dynamic and modern calligraphy can be.
Osaka-based Japanese calligrapher Shinrei is one such artist currently shaking up the world of calligraphy, drawing attention for her beautiful pieces and mesmerising performances.
▼ Take a quick look at Shinrei and her work in her introductory video below.
Before we go any further, let’s just take a moment to admire the size and shape of the enormous brush Shinrei uses to create her large-scale works.
Positioning the brush at different angles, and with varying amounts of pressure, the artist creates dynamic calligraphy works that are bursting with life and energy.
The kanji for “dragon” is particularly impressive, calling to mind the mythical beast within the painting.
While the artist is fond of creating large works of art on the floor, using a horizontally placed canvas, she’s just as comfortable working on vertical surfaces too. This is Shinrei mid-creation on stage at an event in Bangkok.
Take a look at the performance in action here, complete with traditional flute and taiko drum accompaniment:
Whether she’s working on a plain white canvas, or more elegantly decorated ones, her work is always an enticing blend of tradition and contemporary flair.
▼ Her outfits, like her calligraphy, also show a modern edge.
Once Shinrei’s onstage appearances are over, what’s left is a beautiful artwork, which preserves all the energy and vitality from her performance.
Though her performances have brought her a lot of attention, Shinrei is a working artist, who provides artworks for businesses like hotels and restaurants.
▼ “Ichigo Ichie” (a “once in a lifetime encounter”).
▼ She’s also held some stunning exhibitions…
And when she’s not creating, she’s giving lessons to people of all ages in the Kansai region.
Shinrei also works on a much smaller scale as well, with short videos on her Instagram account showing beautifully drawn kanji characters, which are all incredibly relaxing to watch. For an overview of her small kanji work, take a look at the compilation video below:
Having started calligraphy from the age of seven, Shinrei has won numerous awards throughout her career, and it looks like there’s no stopping for the talented artist. To keep up with all her new projects, head on over to her blog, or give her a follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to view more of her performances.