Reading a book in 月と六ペンス one night recently, I came across some black and white illutrations by the artist Michael Hofmann. Something about the artwork intrigued me and turning to the back of the book (the book was the Hojoki, but I’ll write more about that in a later post) I learned that “Michael Hofmann is an American artist who has lived in Kyoto since 1972 studying under the painter/priest Jikihara Gyokusei”.
Interesting, I thought. I ought to find out more about him…
And then a few days later, by PURE CHANCE (!) I received the following message from Stewart Wachs:
My friend Michael Hofmann (note the spelling), with whom I’ve been very close since I came to Kyoto 26 years ago, and for whom I have enormous respect artistically and personally, is back in town for a number of weeks after moving last spring from Kyoto to Forestville, California. Michael is a highly accomplished sumi-e painter. He is a key disciple of the late, great nanga painter Jikihara Gyokusei, who passed away a few years ago at the age of 100.
Hofmann and his friend Yoko Nishina, a calligrapher, are collaborating on a show that will open 10 days from now on the 30th and run until 5 December at the gallery Sala. They plan to post English translations of the poetry brushed in Japanese onto each painting. In this show Michael’s imagery consists mainly of historical figures. Michael has a very wide-ranging talent and an array of subject matter as an artist. Although Michael is gentle and soft-spoken he is a formidable talent… …I would like to ensure that as many people as possible attend this joint exhibit with his friend Yoko.
Many thanks to Stewart for channeling the weird call of serendipity. I’m looking forward to seeing this exhibition and hopefully meeting the artist too. If you’d like to learn more about Michael Hofmann and his art, check out his gallery here and some reviews here.
Sumi-e by Michael Hofmann
Calligraphy by Nishina Yoko
at Event Space Sala (on Muromachi-dori across from the YWCA), November 30 (TUE) to December 5th (SUN) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, please contact Michael at email@example.com