“If we study Japanese art, we see a man who is undoubtedly wise, philosophic and intelligent, who spends his time doing what? …
He studies a single blade of grass.”
-Vincent van Gogh
Sumi-e, also called Suibokuga, is the art of ink wash-painting. Characteristically, it is an East Asian art, and has been practiced there for well over a thousand years. Sumi-e depicts the spirit or essence of an object or scene rather than its outward appearance — and does so in the fewest possible strokes. Because of this simplicity, the painter’s character and personality come through in his/her work. In both viewing and creating, Sumi-e is a very contemplative form of painting.