Murata Atsumi: Shapes Of Sumi

An exhitibion, workshops and demonstration in celebration of 60 years of relations between Israel and Japan.

Sponsored by the Japan Foundation, February 2013, Israel.

Exhibition open from February 28th to March 9th.

Murata Atsumi was born in Tokyo. While pursuing her activity as a calligrapher to explore the traditional beauty of “Kana,” the Japanese phonetic letters, Atsumi discovered the “Monyo,” abstract watermark that Sumi (Japanese ink) creates on paper, as her method of artistic expression. Her calligraphy-based art applied to different media such as ceramics, lacquer ware, and fabrics which makes a distinct combination, has been featured in a number of exhibitions mainly in Tokyo.  More recently, Atsumi rediscovered the significant texture of “Washi” or Japanese paper, the traditional medium for Japanese calligraphy, and eventually became involved in the art of Washi-paper making.  Atsumi’s creative method to incorporate patterns made by Sumi in the process of paper-making resulted with her signature Shapes of Sumi, the unique forms of Sumi that are created spontaneously.  From 2006, Atsumi has held solo exhibitions in New York City annually. Also in 2009, she has shown her works in collaboration with a Japanese photographer in Paris for the first time.

Although the exhibition is centered on Sumi ink it is also about paper. What would be faults in commercially produced paper with handmade paper are merits. Irregular bumps, creases, tears and shifts in tone are interesting components, which, in the hands of a sensitive artists, can be tapped for their expressive potential. Atsumi’s work has been moving away from traditional oriental calligraphy towards pure abstraction.  However, calligraphy is still apparent, in that black ink is distributed around the paper in ways that range from the dramatic to the poetic. The artist has exchanged the emphatic sharp edges of calligraphy for a soft-edged, diffuse use of ink that implies depth.