What is Sumi-e
Plum Blossoms in Moonlight
Sumi ink and Asian watercolors on rice paper by Takashi Ijichi
by Iris Lowe-Reiss
Sumi-e: The Art of Ink, Paper and Brush
Sumi-e is an Asian art form in which paintings from nature are depicted in black ink on white paper. Sumi-e, along with Zen Buddhism, was introduced from China to Japan in the 15th Century.
As in many other Japanese arts and traditions, the
deep-rooted preference for simplicity and subtlety have become the hallmarks of the Japanese style of sumi-e. While the most traditional sumi-e style is black ink on white paper, color can also be used. Students practice first in black and white before working in color.