While practicing calligraphy as a teacher in her 20s, Japanese artist Kingetsu Ishii (石井 琴月) became fascinated with the beauty, shape and meaning of Kanji characters. Each seemed to inhabit their own world, which, when explored, posed the opportunity to remind us of things we have long forgotten. Ishii began to explore the animate qualities of the characters in her artwork while also undergoing daily qigong training – an ancient Chinese practice that combines slow physical movements with meditation and controlled breathing. All living things are connected, she came to realize, and it is this connection, between the physical and spiritual worlds, that Ishii draws on while “playing” in her world of letters. Ishii hopes to encourage people to explore this relationship through her artwork, while also teaching people about the mysteries and pleasures of ancient writing.
Ishii lives in Miyazaki in southwestern Japan where she works as a calligraphy teacher. Her award-winning work has been exhibited throughout her home prefecture, in Tokyo and in France.