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Local Sumi Artists Celebrate 30th Anniversary

Fumiko Kimura, co-founder of Puget Sound Sumi Artists, joins its 30th anniversary exhibition at Tacoma Library. Photo by Shihou Sasaki/ The North American Post

By Shihou Sasaki

The North American Post

Dozens of sumi artists in the Puget Sound gathered for its group’s 30th anniversary and commemorative exhibition at Tacoma Library. Over 80 artists of Puget Sound Sumi Artists are participating in its special exhibit, “Ink Play: Celebrating the World of Sumi,” recognizing the tradition of Asian ink painting methods and techniques of “stroke on stroke.”

“We appreciate the tender beginning as the spring time growth of plants and flowers reach their maturity as the months go by,” says Fumiko Kimura, co-founder of the Puget Sound Sumi Artist. “After 30 years of PSSA activities, we appreciate the sumi-e for continued serenity of beauty and strength of development that we see in the art of sumi and calligraphy.”

As the Juror of the exhibit, Kimura presented awards to several artists in the memorial exhibit last Saturday. Attendees also enjoyed demonstrations by members during the reception. She added that the sumi-e group has been using more color and a variety of techniques after three decades of activity.

The Idaho-born Nisei (second generation Japanese American), Kimura said she encountered the Japanese art culture and learned nihongo from her teacher as a young teenager in Japan while her family stayed there for seven years including the World War II period.

Using sumi ink and painting on strokes are all related to philosophical concepts. Kimura said that the artworks often do not appear as artists originally imagine since lines in sumi may be too thin, strong, vivid or present other challenges. She added that artists need not to think it was a “mistake.”

“You don’t need to make mistakes,” she said. “It does not want you to make mistakes. If you want to do something particular but it did not come out, it’s okay. It is existing from what you were thinking. It comes from your heart and goes there.

“Isn’t it something?” Kimura concluded.

The exhibition will continue through Nov. 12. More information can be found at <http://sumi.org>.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.