KOBO Seattle | Since 1995

Virtual Art Space, August 2020: Tommer Peterson: Calligraphy

August 06, 2020

Virtual Art Space, August 2020: Tommer Peterson: Calligraphy

Thanks for visiting! This show ended in September 2020. To see the show, click on this link. Please contact us if you have any questions, or check out the Arts & Craft section to see what is currently available by the artist.

We want to thank Tommer for a his calligraphy/visual poetry. Pieces are still available for purchase. Contact us if you are interested. Thank you!

About this work
Most of the work in this exhibition was done during the first months of the Covid 19 quarantine.It began with the Buddhist poem いろは (iroha). This poem is unique, in that it uses all of the phonetic Hiragana characters, but uses each one only once. From there, I expanded, looking to other texts and ideas from the cannon of historic Zen Buddhist writing that seemed to offer some promise or deliverance in these unprecedented times.

Watch Tommer's interview with Mayumi Tsutakawa:


About the paper
There is a wide range of paper here, from Japan, China, India, France, and the United States. For the most part it has been intentionally distressed, using a garden hose to soften and shred the fibers around the edges. In addition, many of the sheets are tinted using watercolor pigments. The resulting worn appearance reflects the arc of time from the distant past, when many of these texts were written, to our reading of them today.


About the Artist
Tommer Peterson began his study of Shodo on a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Japan-US Friendship Commission in 1989-1990. He first studied with Master Kazuko Saito in Kyoto, Japan, and later with Shumpo Akashi, Yoshiyasu Fujii, and Hiroshi Takahata. His work has been exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum Mainichi Shodo Ten (Tokyo), Kyoto Prefectural Exhibition Hall (Kyoto), Takashimaya Gallery (Kyoto), The Islamic Cultural Center (Oakland, CA), and the Frye Museum (Seattle).