The lives of human beings are precious, and every living moment is beautiful because our lives are short-lived. In my opinion, “Sho”(Japanese calligraphy) is an art form brought into existence by a moment’s performance within a time period of one instant. In this way, it resembles our lives.
I produce my work to present the beauty of “Sho”, instant art, to the world. Japanese calligraphic art is commonly understood to be simply “writing”, but I believe it can be an art form that is equal or superior to other visual and performing arts. Even if the audience has no knowledge of Japanese characters, I want this contemporary Japanese calligraphy to stimulate the senses of people across the world, without borders, and reach out to their souls. This is the reason that I attempt to use more three-dimensional, active expressions.
I use not only conventional tools like calligraphy brushes, ink and Japanese paper, but also all kinds of materials that can be used as paint, such as emulsion paint, gold dust, silver dust, pigments, drawing paper, canvas, chopsticks, leaves, paint brushes, crystals and so forth.
The origin of my work comes from a small island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, where I was born and raised. Surrounded by nature with the deep-blue ocean and green mountains, people are often moved or healed by the magnificence of nature, and their senses are sharpened by the breeze.
I feel the greatest pleasure and deep emotion if my audience can find joy, vitality, comfort or healing in my work.
This is what I am trying to express to the world through my artwork.
I hope my calligraphy will be eternal.
Real Name: Rie Inoue
Born in: Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Education: Konan Women’s University, in Kobe, Japan.
Residence: Nishinomiya, Japan
RIHAKU is a calligraphy artist and consultant of the Japan Calligraphy Museum, and a calligraphy professor of the Japan Education Calligraphy Federation. She is also a member of the A.M.S.C (Art Maison Selecting Committee / Spain) and Paje de Los Suenos Foundation (Madrid, Spain).
She creates a new type of Japanese calligraphy that uses not only ink but also incorporates color, such as acrylic paints.
Based in Japan, she is active at numerous solo exhibitions, workshops, and demonstrations domestically and overseas, chiefly in New York.
She has provided calligraphic designs to corporations, including label artwork for Japanese sake manufacturer Hakushika Sake.
She has also designed wall artwork for a New York restaurant, and her wall art at a roadside rest area (Kasaoka Bay Farm) in Okayama Prefecture has been featured on television.
Awards / Exhibitions
- Dec. 2010
- Grand prized for 8th East Asian Art – International Exchange Exhibition (Organized by IFCA /International Foundation for Arts and Cultures).
- July. 2011
- Designed the label artwork for the Japanese sake (for Hakushika Sake).
- Jan. 2012
- Participated in “100 Artists” at Ouchi Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) and voted number one artist on the Ouchi Gallery’s Facebook page (with 824 votes)
- Mar. 2013
- “Monaco – Japan Art Festival 2013” (organized by Department of Cultural Affairs, Monaco).
- Mar. 2013
- “Selected works from Japan 2013” at Michi Gallery, NY.
- Mar. 2013
- Two works printed in the international publication “Art Maison International Vol.17”, presented to major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum & MOMA (NY), Louvre (Paris), and National Museum of Decorative Art (Madrid).
- May – Aug. 2013
- Designed label artwork for Japanese sake (for Hakushika Sake).
- May – Jun. 2013
- “OASIS 2013” International Exhibition in Istanbul & Osaka (Japan).
- Dec. 2013
- “Onward – Navigating the Japanese Future 2013” at The Hive Gallery and Studios, LA.
- Jan. 2014
- “J Arts Bridge 2014” International Exhibition in Osaka (Japan).
- May 2014
- Solo exhibition at Rogue Space Chelsea Gallery, NY.
Solo exhibition at Globus Washitsu and Gallery, NY.
- June. 2016
- Solo exhibition “RIHAKU Japanese calligraphy ART world” at The Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan in Washington.D.C.
- June. 2016
- Collaboration exhibition with a painter at Tenri Institute Cultural Gallery in NY
- July 2016
- Held a double solo exhibition at the JICC (Japan Information and Culture Center) Gallery at the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C., and a gallery in Manhattan, NY.
Received high acclaim for her color-incorporating live calligraphy performance.
- March 2017
- Held a live performance on a 4.8m sheet of Japanese washi paper at a major social event for “Gastropolis Kobe”, a project newly launched by Kobe City to publicize Kobe’s food culture overseas leading up to 2020. Her design was selected as the logo for this Kobe City project.