calligraphy

 
Artist
Creation date
Period
Edo
Materials
ink on paper
Mark Descriptions
Signature: Obaku Dokuryu Seal: rectangular relief, upper right corner Seal: square intaglio, below signature Seal: square relief, below signature
Dimensions
50 7/16 x 11 1/8 in.
Credit line
Roger G. Wolcott Fund
Accession number
1986.37
Collection
Not Currently On View

Because of his profound understanding, Zhao Zhou could use the word “mu.”

The word mu 無 (nothing) refers to the fundamental Buddhist teaching that “all is nothingness.” Zen practitioners seek to realize this experientially rather than conceptually. Questions, or koan, posed by a master play a vital role in the process.

The calligraphy here refers to the first of the koan compiled in China by Wumen Huikai (1183–1260) in a collection called the Gateless Gate. A monk asked the Zen master Zhao Zhou (8th century) if a dog possesses Buddha-nature. Zhao Zhou answered, “Mu.”

Purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1986.
Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2820
New York, NY 10118
Tel: 212-736-6666
Fax: 212-736-6767
e-mail: info@vagarights.com
site: http://www.vaga.org/