Buddhism is a form of religion to find peace within themselves. It’s a way of thinking and believing of positive aspirations, happiness and contenment. It is living peacefully, and showing kindness to other people with the ultimate goal of pure and lasting happiness for all people. Following a spiritual path of the Buddha, anyone can transform from their present confused mind, to the blissful centered state of the Buddha. (aboutbuddhism.org)
Zen is one of the major schools of Buddhism, and shares the same core beliefs of Buddhism religion. The people who practice Zen hope to achieve enlighten through meditation, ‘by practicing this way of thinking they must break through the boundaries of everyday perception and logic clearing their minds leading to enlightment.’ (Kleiner, 2010, p. 106)
One of the most important events in Japan was the introduction to Zen Buddhism; in the 12th century with its elegance simplicity it is expressed in the many of Zen Art’s paintings and calligraphies shape a role in the Japan art. According to the Mclung Museum of Natural History & Culture, Zen monks create expressions of enlightment, using silk as the backdrop and very few brushstrokes ranging from a simple circle to a painting of Buddha. The works from the Kagetsu An Collection show a wide range of Zen art from Japan’s Edo period (1600-1868) to the 20th century. (mcclungmueseum.utk.edu) Japanese paintings, ceramics, architecture and poetry are just some of a few pieces of art that are influenced by Zen. Giant Japanese dragons are usually painted on the ceilings of their monasteries brush lines become sweeping and fluid and with a few strokes of a paint brush brings life to paintings that have emptiness. Japanese poetry, known as haiku poems, can turn silence and simplicity, evoking moods and sensation. (odmarkproductions.com) Mark Schumacher states in his article, Influence on Japanese Art, ‘With Zen, art aspires to represent not only nature itself but to become a work of nature.’
Using the religions spiritual and moral values, Japanese’s art is strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism as well as some of the traditions that the Japanese use today. The traditional tea ceremony, calligraphy and martial arts are used for meditation as well as spiritual discipline that focuses on calmness, and the simplicity of self-growth. (zen-buddhism.net) With having Zen Buddhism as the way of thinking, an artist can create art that can help lead people to realize enlightenment way of life. This can form a state of relaxation, ignoring the chaos and the cloudiness of the mind, and concentrating and becoming one with the body, it is a peaceful journey that can lead to calmness, serenity.