Ishikawa Kyuyo

Ishikawa Kyuyo
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Ishikawa Kyuyo developed a new approach to calligraphy. He transcribes canonical texts (literary, philosophical, or religious) originally composed during Japan’s middle ages, from the late twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, and he uses Chinese characters and Japanese syllabary that he writes in an extremely eccentric manner. The characters are readable, given time, and they often act as puzzles for the viewer to figure out. The general forms and stroke order of each character are present, although they lose coherence by being elongated, attenuated, made extremely dense or nearly transparent. The rhythms of Kyuyo’s calligraphy evoke the mood and writing style of each text. Now living in Kyoto, Kyuyo has a sizable following.

- Hollis Goodall, Curator, Japanese Art (2007)