A Stroke of Genius

A Stroke of Genius

Calligraphy, which could be described as the skillful creation of expressively rendered signs, is one of the most popular traditional art forms in Japan. From March 14 to May 14, 2012 the Guimet Museum is presenting a collection of Japanese calligraphic works to a French audience for the first time. The collection includes five works from great masters and thirty-six works produced as part of the 63rd edition of a Japanese calligraphy competition, held by the Mainichi Shodo Kai Association in 2011. In fact, this exhibition was organized thanks to a partnership with Mainichi Shodo Kai, a calligraphy association sponsored by the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. For those who are not familiar with this art form, the exhibit, entitled Sho 1 - 41 maîtres calligraphes contemporains du Japon, represents a true revelation. In addition to their visual beauty, a grand literary tradition hides behind these enigmatic creations. The collection brings together seven different styles, such as classic poems of Chinese inspiration, avant-garde experimental exercices and standard Japanese forms like the haiku and the waka. In this way, the collection is a testimony to the coexistence of diverse styles within the culture. The exhibition also demonstrates the importance of calligraphy in Japan and the art form's evolution throughout history. A certain number of demonstrations and improvisations round out the journey. Just minutes away from the Hotel Plaza Tour Eiffel, visitors can see the exuberance of this art form, widely practiced in contemporary Japan, and gain an understanding of the importance of aesthetics in the cultures of the Far East. Musée Guimet 6 place d'Iéna, 75116 Paris Metro: Iéna Open every day except Tuesday and May 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets: 8 euros