MINORI K. EVANS
My artistic expression is influenced by a fusion of my homeland, Japanese culture, and the nature of Kauai, Hawai’i, where I live. I infuse my innate sensitivity to the Japanese aesthetic with the dynamism of Mother Nature on Kauai. This union embodies the heart of my unique artistic expression. My work differs from what is generally called Sumi-e or calligraphy which uses traditional Japanese ink, specific strokes, and attention to the use of empty space. on the page. My art forms embody the traditional art form of bokusho and are at once contemporary and abstract. I also use a combination of Japanese brushstrokes made with a traditional brush along with the use of strokes done by my hand and fingers answell as with the use of tools from nature, such as coconut palm fiber.
About the artist
Born in Osaka, Japan, I moved to Hawai’i in 2001. My childhood days were spent in close proximity to my paternal grandfather who lived as a traditional Buddhist monk in a Honganji temple in Kyoto, Japan. I clearly remember the unique smell of sumi ink as I sat and watched my grandpa copy sutras. My grandpa lived in two worlds: even though he lived abiding by the traditions of his temple he also pursued being what is called a
reibaishi. A reibaishi is a type of seer. This dual life, so to speak, was very unusual. for a monk. Due to my spending a lot of time with him from a very early age, I experience an ongoing extra-ordinary mystical spiritual healing. This healing experience served to influence my character development which in turn has a great influence upon my artistic expression. Only after my grandpa passed away when I was in junior high school, did I realize that there were conversations and phenomena that could only be exchanged between the two of us.
In Japan I studied architecture at Osaka design school after which I went to work for a magazine called Kayaker’s Journal as an editor and writer. Then I transitioned to working as the manager of the advertising department for Mont-bell in Osaka, an outdoor equipment company. It is then that I have the opportunity to travel around Japan and abroad using the company’s equipment to kayak, climb, and backpack. These outdoor experiences allowed me to deeply commune with nature and be inspired by her beauty and sense of flow. I feel this is expressed in my art.
I draw with feeling, my own style of Bokusho art. One breath, one stroke is my primary drawing style in sumi-e. I am also a hula practitioner/ dancer. I express the fluidity of hula in my art. I also dye fabric with sumi ink and combine this use of sumi ink with other natural elements.