Monday, January 30, 2023 | Rajab 7, 1444 H
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Thoughts, feelings spelled out in phrases

Two Japanese artistS joined hands with a Belgium artist to demonstrate that relations can survive and people can meet and part in mysterious ways. The natural world has always been made of immeasurably deep connections between all things. The connection of the three artists resonated on “Karma” exhibition in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, and the Embassy of Japan.

The Karma exhibition displays contemporary Japanese calligraphy to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Japan.


Calligraphy has been recognised as the finest art in the East since ancient times due to its technique and expression of spirituality. Japanese calligraphy is one of the oldest traditional art forms appreciated for many years, and uses brush and ink to bring out the beauty of the Japanese alphabets. Across the schools, students are given an opportunity to learn calligraphy as it is incorporated in school curriculum. Many adults also enjoy it in their pastime and is considered that peace of mind and spiritual concentration are required to finish up the calligraphy art. Modern calligraphy has been influenced by pure sensitivity, energy, and the abstract beauty of the West, transforming it into a global art.

In addition to Japanese calligraphers Kawaguchi Yuho and Kawaguchi Seiren, Visual Artist Ingrid Van Heyden from Belgium participated with some works that show the contemporary western art.

Ingrid’s abstract work of art is made with ink and paper, gesso, gauze, and glue under the theme of nesting. She uses mark making and lines to passionately express re-connection with natural forces.

The collaboration explores new artistic possibilities by combining calligraphic imagery and techniques with modern form of conceptual and performance art.

Explaining one of her works, Ingrid said “I actually started to make brush strokes and all of the sudden I saw it is actually wood, so I continued and started to bring the structure of wood out. It wasn’t planned but it came out as wood.

Demonstrating her connection to the Japanese artists, she said “I know the Japanese artists for 20 years and we are still cooperating together. It is all about connectivity so Karma brings you together which is the philosophy of the exhibition. We come from different backgrounds but we both share together is the soul. No matter what language you speak or form of art you work with, we have this common thing together”.

In the Japanese culture, artists use white and black more. It further transforms and diversifies in search of harmony between black and white, the energy of lines, and the expression of pure heart. in her works, Ingrid also tried to unite the theme to keep it calm. As colours are important in some works, lines can deliver the meaning in other arts.


The Belgium artist also focused on nests in her exhibited works saying that she started to make nests during the pandemic because she and her children were separate during that period. “It was a spontaneous feeling to feel home together with the whole family. It is more like showing the safety feeling and warmth”, the artist said.

“Nature has always been made up of deep connections between everything that exists. The Japanese people generally express gratitude for these connections with a word ‘En’, or karma. Joys, sorrows and sufferings are all based on En,” a note from the calligraphers said.

During the six-day expo titled ‘En (Karma)” People unexpectedly meet and say goodbyes’, the two visiting calligraphers will display contemporary calligraphy works that has had an emotional impact in them.

The exhibition will end on December 10 at the Omani Society for Arts at a glittering ceremony.

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