As a young student, I often wrote Chinese characters in sumi ink. I
loved the nervous, precarious feeling of sitting before an empty white
page, the moment just before my brush touched the paper. I was always
excited to see the unique result of each new brushing.
Once your brush touches paper, you must finish the character,
you have one chance. It can never be repeated or duplicated. You must
commit your full attention and being to each stroke. Liquids, like ink,
are elusive by nature. As sumi ink finds its own path through the paper
grain, liquid finds its unique path as it moves through air.
Remembering those childhood moments, of ink and empty page, I
fashioned a large ‘brush’ and bucket of ink. I get the same feeling, a
precarious nervous excitement, as I stand before the empty studio
space. Each stroke is unique, ephemeral. I can never copy or recreate
them. I know something fantastic is happening, “a decisive moment”, but
I can’t fully understand the event until I look at these captured
afterimages, these paintings in the sky.
Maruyama’s work is on exhibit at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York.