CCA+D: Rie Tabata
"Japanese Calligraphy is a fusion of word and image in which every stroke, bold or delicate, resonates meaning, and each calligraphy speaks volumes."
- Traces of the Brush: The Art of Japanese Calligraphy by Louise Boudonnat and Harumi Kushizaki
The inspiration for my latest body of work developed out of my background in Japanese calligraphy and my recent exploration into abstract painting at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Typically, when encountering calligraphy, the viewer’s impulse is to try and “read” it, even if the language is not understood. As suggested in the quotation above, in contemporary Japanese calligraphy the lines that compose letters do not work exclusively as simply the outline or parts of the individual letters. When the lines are abstracted beyond a symbolic relationship to language, I am able to emphasize the non-verbal energy inherent in calligraphic text. By subverting the obsession to literally read these collections of lines, I am invoking nonrepresentational imagry over the suggestion of verbal or literary meaning. Regardless of the ability of the viewer to comprehend the parent language from which I abstract, it should be possible to appreciate calligraphy based on the beauty of lines alone.
- Rie Tabata
Rie Tabata is an alumni of the Corcoran's continuing education coursework and has studied painting under Steven Cushner. Trained since she was four years old in calligraphy, her extensive education includes receiving her B.A. in Philosophy from Tsuda College and her M.A. in Japanese calligraphy from Tokyo Gakugei University. Rie, in addition to recently winning the Wyne Shaffer Memorial Award from the Sumie Society of America, Inc., enjoys successes as an artist, designer, and calligraphy instructor.