About Pure Shodo
Pure Shodo is an online gallery launched in 2019 to introduce a hidden gem of Japan: Japanese calligraphy. Our mission lies in delivering vibrant contemporary calligraphy to people all around the world and creating the future of it. We will deep dive into the profound world of calligraphy together with leading calligraphers. They are also extraordinary artists seeking a new horizon above this long-standing tradition. Enjoy the scent and the glint of Sumi, which purely exist within their bold contemporary art created at the forefront of our time. Pure Shodo contributes to the next generation of calligraphy.
What is Modern Japanese Calligraphy?
East Asian calligraphy began its history in ancient China 3,000 years ago. Kanji was first imported into Japan as a language system in the 5th century. Japanese was an unwritten language originally, people invented both phonogram systems of Hiragana and Katakana to adapt kanji to the spoken word. The Japanese language system had developed gradually, and it is now known as one of the most challenging languages to master.
Many outstanding calligraphers had emerged with the times. They had broken the old stereotypes of society, created new trends and became legendary. The art that reflects the era and anticipates the coming era is powerful enough to change the world.
A few calligraphers began to express abstractly before WW2. After the war, it became an art movement interacting with art informel, and Eastern beauty and philosophy influenced the Western modern art scene. However, such radical interpretations of calligraphy remained in a small circle because most Japanese calligraphers had valued preserving the tradition.
In recent years, calligraphers have come to think again about their uniqueness and what they should create now. It is more than being the "successors" to the wisdom of classics. Calligraphy has always been the art, not just the writing technique. Isn't it natural now that we broaden our horizons to the contemporary art scene like how legendary calligraphers have extended the concept of calligraphy?
Modern calligraphy is at its most significant change in history. It is also urging us to change. "Be you."
We came together because we felt great excitement about connecting Japanese calligraphy to the world. All have IT expertise, experience in content creation, new business start-up, marketing, and international experiences. And everyone loves Japan and believes the power of art will open a new era.
Living in London in 2016 and encountering the Japanese avant-garde calligraphy after coming back to Tokyo, those things changed my life entirely and made me started to this project. I am encouraged by art and artists always.
In addition, I also connected with a wide range of activities on the theme of "art × business" as well as creating my art as a color pencil artist.