Morikami presents Painting Enlightenment: Experiencing Wisdom and Compassion through Art and Science, a new exhibition featuring the indelible works of the famous Japanese scientist and artist Iwasaki Tsuneo (1917-2002).
The paintings create a contemplative journey and meditations on the interconnectedness of the universe. Iwasaki breaks down the distinctions between image, text and thought with images that represent both scientific phenomena and Buddhist principles. He shapes the images using characters from the sacred Buddhist text, the Heart Sutra.
After retiring from a career as a research biologist, Iwasaki expanded his own practice of copying sacred texts called Shyaky – a form of devotional with a long history in Japan. Instead of dividing the verses into vertical blocks in his unique process, he reconfigures them into images like DNA, lightning, bubbles, atoms, and ants. He created this artistic practice to express the intricate relationship between science and Buddhism.
Organized by the Louisiana State University Museum of Art with visiting curator Dr. Paula Arai, associate professor for philosophy and religious studies at LSU. Presented at the Morikami Museum and partially funded by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.