Sunday, November 19, 2006
The sumi-e lesson
The spirit of old Japan blossoms on MacDougal Street just below Houston in Manhattan's SoHo (even as it wilts in its native land).
In a cramped, ages-old storefront, students of the art of sumi-e, or ink-and-brush painting, polish their technique by reproducing the works of masters of the form.
Guiding their progress is Koho Yamamoto, whose passion for life and openness to beauty make her look far younger than her 84 years.
Chatting with her and her students, I caught a glimpse of the essence of sumi-e and realized that there is far more to it than merely applying brush to paper.