Ancient Oracle Bone scripts
portraying the dawn of time
Ink on canvas Akiko Hirano
Photography & Calligraphy
Brush-and-ink calligraphy, a revered Asian art form, shares techniques with sumi painting and is the foundation of sumi painting. In addition to using graceful lines and forms, calligraphers and sumi painters achieve tonality by grinding ink to varying densities. Notan - the concept of chiaroscuro or dark-light contrast as explained in Arthur Wesley Dow's classic book Composition - can trace its origin to brush-and-ink calligraphy and sumi painting. 'No ' 濃 and 'Tan ' 淡 are the words in both Japanese and Chinese for 'dense' and 'dilute'. This concept has direct applications in the use of shadow and highlight in black-and-white photography.
"Oracle" silver gelatin print Tim Wong