Zenga Studios

"...Zenga [is} the word the Japanese use to describe painting and calligraphy by Zen monks from 1600 to the present. The works were created neither "for art's sake" nor at the bidding of wealthy patrons, but rather to aid meditation and to lead toward enlightenment. Zenga is a form of teaching: in painting, the most common subjects are Zen masters and exemplars of the past...The style of the brushwork, unlike that of almost all other religious art, is dramatically bold, seemingly impetuous, and bluntly immediate in effect. The translation from mind and spirit to paper was spontaneous. These works distill the essence of the Zen experience into strokes of the brush: the intensity of meditation is palpable in the few lines used to render the fierce scowl of a Zen patriarch; the logic-destroying potential of a zen riddle (koan) becomes visible in the dancing movement of roughly brushed calligraphy. Zenga is thus the outward expression of the inner lives of Zen monks." The Art of Zen, Stephen Addiss, Harry Abrams, NY 1989.

LINK to Stephen Addiss' site(s) here
LINK to some of Hakuin's art on some site...


"[Zenga]...where incompetence is a virtue, and clumsiness, rather than grace is the aim...naively childlike but with distortions only an adult mind could impose."